Your patient has become humble; have you drawn his attention to the fact? All virtues are less formidable to us once the man is aware that he has them, but this is specially true of humility. Catch him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, “By jove! I’m being humble”, and almost immediately pride—pride at his own humility—will appear. If he awakes to the danger and tries to smother this new form of pride, make him proud of his attempt—and so on, through as many stages as you please. But don’t try this too long, for fear you awake his sense of humor and proportion, in which case he will merely laugh at you and go to bed.
But there are other profitable ways of fixing his attention on the virtue of Humility. By this virtue, as by all the others, our Enemy wants to turn the man’s attention away from self to Him, and to the man’s neighbors. All the abjection and self-hatred are designed, in the long run, solely for this end; unless they attain this end they do us little harm; and they may even do us good if they keep the man concerned with himself, and, above all, if self-contempt can be made the starting-point for contempt of other selves, and thus for gloom, cynicism, and cruelty.
Lord, keep me humble…
About 22 years ago, I walked through the doors of The Salvation Army Pioneer Corps for the first time. Although I didn’t know at that time what the years ahead would bring, there was one thing I knew – I was home. The people became my family. I’m fairly certain that there isn’t an area of the building where I don’t have a treasured memory.
It was at the old mercy seat that I knelt at the age of seven to ask Jesus into my heart. It was on the platform that I stood and affirmed my commitment to worship and serve God through The Salvation Army, first as a Jr. Soldier and then as a Sr. Soldier. It was in the old classrooms on the 2nd floor that I first learned of God’s love and grace from my Sunday School teachers. It was throughout the building that I learned through the years of the joy of worshiping God through music. It has been through the ministry of the Wittenbergs that I have received God’s healing for the depression which overtook me for so long.
But, as others have recently done, it is time for me to move on into the future that God has prepared for me. Effective April 3, 2008, I begin the next phase of my life, in Carlisle, PA. I’ll be working as the Program Assistant at the corps there, and will have the opportunity to participate actively in the ministry of the corps. Majors Colin and Brenda DeVault and Captain Christin Kapp will be my Corps Officers.
I’m looking forward to this new phase of life, and I’m excited to see where God takes me from here!
Plus, some kid name Des is really excited about me moving out there for some reason :-)….
We stand at a crossroads. Straight ahead lies the path of promise. To the left and right are paths which mat eventually lead to promise but are a circuitous, if not circular, route. Facing this path, we have a choice – do we follow the path of promise, trod before us by very feet of God and prepared by His Spirit, or do we take a path of our own choosing? Even our approach to the crossroads impacts our choice.
Along the path of promise stand giants, who desire to waylay us. Before we even come against these giants, we must determine in our hearts that our God is greater that an giant or foe we may face.
When the Israelites prepared to enter the land they were promised, they sent scouts ahead to explore the land. The scouts returned with reports of giants and carrying fruits many times the normal size. The scouts also brought back negative reports of their chances against the inhabitants. Instead of looking forward and trusting the God who brought them out of slavery, and is all-powerful and able to grant them the land He had promised them, they looked back at their capabilities and saw that they were physically small compared to the giants in their land.
God had used Moses to bring the people to this crossroads, but because of their disobedience and disbelief, God used Joshua to lead the next generation in. It was only after the “lost” generation had perished from among them that they were permitted to enter the land. They wandered for forty years in an area that would have taken them only 2 years to cross had they been obedient. But, because they did not trust that God would give them victory to possess what they had been promised, they were not allowed to enter the land of their promise.
They stood at a crossroads. We stand at that same crossroads. I believe that God has promised us Kensington. There are “Joshuas” and “Calebs” among us reminding us that, although these “giants” inhabit this land, God is greater than even the biggest “giant.” He alone is mighty to conquer these “giants’ and grant us our land of promise.
Will we look forward, to the God who is greater that drugs, promiscuity, broken families or will we set our focus on those “giants.” Will we see that God is bigger, or will we “see” that we are, in ourselves, smaller than what we stand against? Will we waste time wandering around or will we permit God to guide us> Will we allow fear to grip us, or will we trust God to take hold of our community in His grip of grace?
Sink, Float or Swim
Stand with me on the shore of a lake. Look at the water’s edge as it laps upon the shore. How does the water look? Is it crystal clear and beautiful? No – it’s muddy, murky and dark. Step into the water. Feel the silt as it stirs and watch as the water grows even dirtier. You’re now ankle-deep in dirty, muddy water. Do you back-up and go to stand on the shore, dragging the dirt from the water with you? Or, do you step out further, into the clear, still waters in the middle?
Keep walking. With each step you take, the water grows clearer and it creeps ever upward. Eventually, you come to a point where you must choose to keep your feet n the bottom of the lake and consequently allow the water to cover your head. This choice inevitably leads to drowning. You can lift your feet and keep your head above the water and just float. This choice leaves you floating at the mercy of the current. You might end up at your destination or you might end up back on the shore. You can also dive in, soak yourself from head-to-toe in this water, now crystal-clear, and swim even further out.
In life, we face these choices as well – sometimes on a daily basis. Initially, the situation looks murky. We can’t see where we are headed. Occasionally, we even make it worse and it looks even more uncertain. But, as we progress, the situation sometimes grows clearer. We see the situation in a different light as we move further away from the things that cloud our vision.
Finally, we get to the point where we must decide – sink, keep your head above water, or keep going. To sink is to give up, to not even bother trying. There are times that we are in situations where just giving up seems like the best choice, the only choice. Even if we choose to fight just enough to keep our head above water, we are still at the mercy of our circumstances. We drift along, uncertain of where we will end up. However, when we dive in and swim, we draw closer with each stroke towards the goal.
In Philippians 3:12-14, we read: “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” Paul is speaking about a specific situation, but this can be translated to the choice to sink, float or swim as well.
Are you sinking into a mire of depression or inertia regarding a specific situation? Or, are you just keeping your head above water, with no specific direction? Ask God to help you dive in and swim – in His strength.
It’s crowded in worship today
As she slips in trying to fade into the faces
The girl’s teasing laughter is carrying farther than they know
Farther than they know
But if we are the body
Why aren’t His arms reaching?
Why aren’t His hands healing?
Why aren’t His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren’t His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way
A traveler is far away from home
He sheds his coat and quietly sinks into the back row
The weight of their judgemental glances
Tells him that his chances are better out on the road
Jesus payed much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the body of Christ
Jesus is the way