Sunday, September 6, 2015

Created for Good Works.

Got to thinking about this verse today and how it applies to raising my three kids. I acknowledge that modeling a more Christ-like life is essential to their future development as men and women in a culture that is increasingly hostile to our faith and conscience.

Here are four principles of Godly parenting that were discussed in church today. 

"We must fuel our children for success!!
Establish healthy boundaries.
Embrace Biblical values.
Embody Christ-like character." 

-The River Christian Community

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Jesus payed a larger price than you probably think.

I sin. But don't get all judgy. So do you. IN fact we all sin. That's why Jesus had to die on the cross as an atoning sacrifice and ransom for our sins. I recently read a short story about a boy who built a toy sailboat with great diligence. While playing with it near the coast, the wind changed directions and he lost it to the sea. Or so her thought. Several weeks later as he was walking past a toy shop, he spotted the sailboat in the window. He went in to reclaim his prized possession. The shop keeper refused to give it to him and demanded for him to pay for it. As the boy left the store with his hand-built special toy he was over heard saying, "You are twice my sailboat. First I built you, then I bought you."

That story really resonated with me last night as I was studying through 1 Corinthians and came to this verse. Do I really understand that price of that Jesus payed for the sinners. It probably isn't possible to over estimate the cost. 

I think that if we spent a bit more time thinking about the price that Jesus payed for us, we could better understand what it means to belong to Him. We might appreciate the pain our sin causes. We might be more in love with this gracious Father God who sent His Son into the world to suffer and die for us that his righteousness might be imparted to us.

This should inspire all of us not only to live more righteous lives, not out of fear of God's judgement but in reverence for His perfect loving nature, in gratitude for the price Christ payed on the cross and out of love for a Lord and Savior who came into the world to justify us even when we were and are in staunch rebellion against Him. This should inspire us to tell others about Him. This should inspire us to actively pursue His will and His calling in our lives. We should be inspired to live completely and totally for Him, after all, we are twice His.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Medical Mission Mentors: A Thank You Note

Dr. Sorg and I strategizing on how and where to set-up our mobile clinic in rural Haiti in 2011

Some days I feel like writing but don't have a plan. I know what I want, but I don't know how to accomplish what I want.

I want someone who can help me figure out how to follow my dream of being a career medical missionary. I have an excellent, albeit extremely busy mentor, Dr. Jack Sorg of ABWE. He was a missionary surgeon in the Amazon Basin for 20 years with his wife Sandy. He travels all over the world still, working for ABWE and leading teams on foreign medical mission trips on almost every continent to strengthen and extend the churches that already there.

I turn to him for advice as often as I need it. He is a great resource for me of spiritual and professional wisdom. I praise and thank God for this man and his availability to me.

We first met 5 years ago shortly following the tragic earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. We wound up on a team heading up into the rural villages surrounding PAP and seeing to the medical and spiritual needs of those who had been all but cut off from the infrastructure that had previously existed in Port-au-Prince.

That was my first experience with medical missions, but before I even went, I knew that this was something that I had been called to. I was just a paramedic then. I was taking my pre-requisities for PA school during the day at a local junior college and working nights on an ambulance in Stockton, CA. I exhausted my Montgomery GI Bill before I even started PA school at Stanford. With 3 kids and a mortgage, having visited Haiti twice and no income, it would be 3 years before I saw Dr. Sorg again. It was at a conference where I met up with him and another missionary surgeon whom I revere for his generous spirit and willingness to speak into my life when I need encouragement, Dr. Bob Cropsey.

I guess I just needed to take a moment and express my gratitude for how these two men have made a positive impact in my life over the last few years and how I increasingly lean on their wisdom and insight to further prepare me for this dream I have.

If you are looking for a mentor to help you get started in medical missions, this site is a great place to start:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Shatter Your Plans on the Floor

"Pieter Bruegel the Elder - The Tower of Babel (Vienna) - Google Art Project - edited"
I would not have chosen to do it this way. I never really wanted to be a Physician Assistant. It should have never occurred to me to use medical training to fulfill the Great Commission, yet it did. I had no plans for anything apart from making a living, raising some kids and watching some hockey on my days off.

I did not aspire to leave my firefighting job after working so hard to land it. I did not want to turn down a flight medic position (a job I had dreamed of since I was a teenager). I did not wake up one morning and just decide that it would be in my best interest to quit my career as a paramedic so that I could live on a fraction of the pay, live out of a suitcase for two years while my family barely scraped by a hundred miles away. I never considered that it would be this great idea to miss four solid months of work due to debilitating and paralyzing illness and injury during my rookie year of being a PA. I did not decide that it was best for me to go to rural Haiti, travelling on rocky mountain back roads in an SUV a month after spinal surgery. I did not conclude to have such financial insecurity in my first year as a PA.

My Tower of Babel (and we all have one) crumbled, as they always do. Apparently some people build more sturdy towers than me, because the second I place one brick on top of another, it seems, God knocks it over. I suppose (and I am) thankful that He does. I'm learning to not ask why. And I don't look at it as if I'm being bullied.

Here's how the story goes down: Some guys want to build a city and tower that would reach the heavens and unite the world. Literally, they said " that we can make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth." (Genesis 11:4)

That's all well and good, right? Nope. Not for God's people. Who do we as His adopted children exalt in our efforts, our accomplishments, our life goals? GOD. Yahweh!

I'm not saying that I've failed at anything (of course I've failed at lot's of stuff) but what I'm saying is that God is at work. He sets my path straight. When I focus on my own schemes and dreams, I tend to look away from the perfect plan of God because what I want is, more often than not, quite self-serving.

If we seek the Lord's Kingdom, that tendency to pursue more self-exalting things becomes less and less of a burden. As we seek to exalt the Lord in our lives, our struggles and troubles and failures, and hardships and set-backs adn even our tragedies begin to make more sense. Of course there are many "why?" questions that will never be answered. I think one of the primary functions of this faith is to eliminate the need to have our "why's" and answered and just continue on, enduring for His glory, even when our plans fall to pieces.

What do you think? I'd love to hear from you and your ideas.