Posts tagged ‘service’

Who Are You?

Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.   John 13: 3-5

The thing that astonishes me about Jesus is that His exalted position and unlimited power motivated Him to serve. And He didn’t just serve in an ordinary capacity, but in the lowliest of positions to do what no one else would do. So He was born in a stable as an infant rather than appear in a palace as a king. He built things for others as a carpenter rather than having things built for Him as a land owner. He went to places defiled by lepers and prostitutes to touch them and become one with them rather than places of honor to be separate from them. He died alone on a cross to save all of humanity rather than a bed surrounded by friends to save His dignity. And when He walked into that upper room to share a final meal with His disciples and knew He was God in flesh, His response was to serve rather than be served.

The path to peace, joy, purpose, and health in this life is not found in gratifying myself in places of comfort and positions of power, but in loving others in places of need and positions of service. When I developed recurrent cardiac symptoms, my initial response was one of denial. But I have discovered that any journey to health is a journey to self-awareness. Before we can help others, we must know who we are and what we have to offer.  We see this principle illustrated in the life of Jesus in John 13. It is because Jesus was self-aware that He served others. It is because Jesus knew that He was God that He knew what He had to do. 

Today I am more aware than ever before that I am a child of God defined by His love and grace in my life, not by the failed bypass grafts or small arteries in my heart. Though I continue to seek the best path forward to treat my cardiac condition, I realize true healing only comes as I humble myself to God’s will for my life and His presence in my heart. It’s okay that I can’t ride my bike as fast, run as much, or swim like I once could. Those things are fun and good. But they are not the things I must do to find peace and joy in life. Rather, as a child of God, I simply need to humble myself to the will of God and be the hands and feet of Jesus to those around me. Once I know who I am, I know what I need to do. 

So it’s true. My cardiac condition does not define who I am. God does. Once I embraced this fact, I realized that He has my heart in His hands. I now know that my health challenge does not limit what God wants to accomplish in and through me. In fact, I know that my heart condition is a blessing as I allow it to inform me about my mortality in this life and the assurance of immortality in the next. The amazing thing about my own health challenge is that my heart has become more open to God’s heart resulting in more peace than ever before. Perhaps this is what Paul meant when he said,  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

If you’re looking for peace and purpose in life, perhaps you have not yet discovered your true identity. What would it look like to see yourself as a child of God? How would that change who you are and what you would do?

What Does God Expect of Me?… Service

The definition of an excuse (noun) is: “a reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.”

When my children were younger and living at home, I found their excuses tedious at best and often downright maddening. They had excuses for every situation that did not meet my expectations. These situations ranged from unfinished chores to unfinished homework. Excuses were also abundant anytime they knowingly disobeyed the rules of the house. The more common excuses included (not in any particular order): a) I don’t have a watch so I didn’t know the time. b) I didn’t know that rule would apply in this situation. c) The teacher didn’t tell us there would be a test today. d) I didn’t hear you.

I could list dozens of excuses that not only my kids offered to me, but that we offer to God. However, of all the excuses I’ve heard over the years, by far the most common one offered by kids and adults alike is, “I don’t know.” We don’t know why we broke the rule because we haven’t taken the time to know ourselves. When I don’t know why I am not obedient to God, then I’m not even taking His command serious enough to give an acceptable excuse! Perhaps the most common expectation or command from God is the one to serve.

God calls each of us to His mission of service to Him and others. And yet many Christians I know have no idea as to their calling in life. What’s more distressing is that they are not wrestling with God to know their calling. We read throughout the Bible of God’s expectation for His followers to serve others. Do you have an excuse? Or do you have a story to tell of your adventure with God? Over the years I’ve had plenty of excuses to offer to God. I have found that life is better when I offer Him my service rather than my excuses. I have discovered that God transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary when I transform my excuses into obedience. What are you offering to God?

Days 48 and 49 – Rest and Rejuvenation

It has been great to have two consecutive days off the bike. It has done wonders for my sore legs, saddles sores, and spirits. I took my bike to a shop who has a master mechanic on Friday. He diagnosed the issue very quickly and I had all the parts he needed to make the bike as good as new. After having lunch at a nearby restaurant with Pam and her cousin, we picked up the bike from the shop and I literally rested the remainder of the day. This was all in preparation for the big day at the PeWee Valley Seventh-day Adventist church.

A young adult Bible study group adopted my ride as a mission project for their local community. They did some research and found the “Mission Crestwood” to be an organization serving over 1,500 people every month who are in need. They supply them with a week’s worth of food each month in addition to toiletry items and clothing. They have a “sharing” room where they invite people to meet with one of their staff members for prayer. So the Adventist Bible study group has been using my ride to gather diapers for the Mission Crestwood and I was invited to meet some of the staff at the Mission as the group delivered over 2,500 diapers to them. As I talked with the staff at the Mission, it became apparent that the ONE need they are NOT meeting is the need for DIAPERS. I could see the eyes opening of the Mission staff and the Adventist Bible study group as we talked about how a Diaper Bank could meet these needs. I left that place rejuvenated to continue this ride tomorrow realizing this is how Jesus spent most of His Sabbaths while on this earth – mingling with people and meeting their needs. Only God can bring both rest and rejuvenation on the same day in the same activity.

I am constantly amazed at the miracles I see happening because I joined God where He is working across America. What a privilege to have a front row seat to witness His power in action even if much of the time I’m in the saddle rather than on a seat. The best place to witness this “God Show” is where He’s calling you to join Him. Believe me, there’s no better place to be.

Here is the Church I had the privilege of speaking at today…

Here are some pictures of the Mission Crestwood…

 

 

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