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Learning to Love like Jesus

LI have this little problem. I love hard. I love deep. I love people too much. Rather, I love people too selfishly; with too many expectations. I get frustrated when people don’t love me the way that I love them. I find myself feeling disappointed when I don’t receive love back the way that I give it out. Even when people actually love me better than I love them, I have trouble recognizing it when it comes in a form that is unfamiliar to me. In my disappointment I have often told myself that the solution is to love them less. If I didn’t love them so much, it wouldn’t hurt so much when things don’t happen the way I think they should. I have tried countless times to love people less and I fail miserably at it. Why would I try to love someone less? Because the more neutral your feelings toward someone, the less the things they do (or don’t do) affect you. I’m tired of feeling hurt and disappointed. I am tired of hoping things will be different and finding they never are. I’m tired of feeling like I love people so much and they don’t love me back. It’s a lie from the enemy; People do love me. I’m just not that good at recognizing it.

Thank God Jesus is not like me! The truth is that I don’t need to learn to love less; I need to learn to love differently. I need to love with a pure love. A love that doesn’t ask for anything in return. A love without expectation. When the people didn’t love Jesus the way He loved them, did He give up on them or walk away? Did He try to love them less so that it wouldn’t hurt so much if they didn’t love Him back? No, He loves unconditionally. He loved us so deeply that He hung on a cross and died for us. That’s the kind of love I need. I need to learn to love more, not less. I need to learn to consistently be compassionate, turn the other cheek, and forgive. I need to learn to love like Jesus.

Lord, teach me to love like you love. Teach me how to see people the way that you do. Teach me not to view things from my selfish perspective, but to always see them through the mercy and love of the Lord. Teach me to love like Jesus.

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

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Curb-side Consult

As I continue along this journey as a doctor, I find myself seeing many comparisons to ministerial positions.  Something I’d like to talk about today is the curb-side consult.

(Now, this post may seem like it is mainly aimed for ministers, but even we lay saints can still glean from this idea.)

Late one night I was paged because a patient had fallen down and because he was complaining of side pain, I ordered a stat chest x-ray.  It was read as no broken ribs by the overnight radiologist who tends to look at the films more quickly for just really bad stuff because it is usually a send out to companies who have a radiologist who reads for multiple hospitals (instead of at daytime where it is in house for just us). After checking the patient out, I ruled out all the baddies (puncture of the lung etc) and since he was still having pain I wrote in my note that a follow up x-ray was suggested be taken in a few days to see if he had a hairline rib fracture if his doctor felt it was necessary.

The next day I was paged TWICE within a short amount of time and quickly became the receiving end of the tirade of an upset neurologist.  He wanted to know who I was and why I even saw his patient and who even consulted me to see his patient. As per standard protocol, any fall in the hospital overnight is evaluated by the intern on duty- ie ME.  No one consulted me, I was just doing my job. I was never told that I was supposed to call this patient’s doctor. I had made sure to ask the nurse to pass along to his doctor that I was not sure if he wanted another chest x-ray but was recommending to at least examine for himself and see if he felt it was necessary.

The problem came when the daytime radiologist read the x-ray (standard for things read at night) and said that he actually DID have a broken rib and nursing never passed my message along to the doctor. Risk Management (a department that oversees things like falls in the hospital) then called him up and asked him what he was doing about his patient’s broken rib almost 12 hours after the event and he never even knew his patient fell.

During my conversation with this very upset doctor, I just kept apologizing because I did not know I was supposed to call him, it was not part of the protocol and I brought up the fact it might not be because doctors may not want to be called at 2 or 3AM about their patient falling if nothing was seriously wrong and they were stable. He informed me that some doctors go to their office first and may not round on their patients until 5PM-a fact that I did not know. By the end, since I was humble enough to just keep apologizing and did not fight, he ended up thanking me for taking care of his patient overnight and that I most likely did right by his patient, he just would have appreciated a call when it happened.

When someone we know is seeking advice on a life event, we need to be mindful of what we say/do. We, being not that person’s pastor, can give them advice at times that may seem right in our eyes, but perhaps goes against what that person’s pastor might say.  In the end, it is ultimately that person’s pastor who is responsible for them and their spiritual well being.  We don’t know the whole story. We don’t know both sides of how the interactions go down.  What if we give/get the wrong information? Will you be humble enough to say “I”m sorry?” if you are called out on helping cause strife within a church or leading them to a destructive path? I’m not saying that you should go and report everything to someone’s pastor- but I am saying that we should be mindful that we might be giving a curb-side consult and not watching out for the final consequences of our actions.  I should have called that doctor up and said something and/or ordered the follow up chest xray. Either way, I should not have just said “okay, I think he might need more, and I wrote it down but I don’t know if the message was received.”

If we are going to try to “fix” someone else in the church, we need to be ready to handle the consequences of what we did. We need to do the follow up, but more importantly, we should remember that ultimately, it may not be our place to even do that. Let’s pray for each other; help each other think of things that are honestly, just, pure, lovely, and of good report; and always keep in mind that unless we are someone’s pastor, we may be dabbling in a situation and walking away without thinking of the consequences of potentially no follow up.  Praying together with someone is many times the absolute best remedy to anything that ails them 😉

In Him,

Rebekah M.

The Lord Fights Our Battles Pt 2

champion

About a year ago a guy messaged me multiple times trying to make a case for how I could not possibly be in the will of God because God would NEVER call anyone to do anything besides being a saint of Christ and that a woman’s place is in the home while her husband’s place is to work outside the home. That He would never call anyone to be doctors, lawyers, or policemen.  He did this knowing that I was in medical school, soon to be a doctor, and unmarried. I posted about this a year ago and how he never responded when I said that God cares even about our professions for everything can be used as an opportunity to witness. Last night, I received an interesting message from him on Facebook:

I need to apologize to you for being judgemental and critical of you. I was wrong and I am sorry for that. Sorry to cause you any stress or anxiety. I hope you can forgive me and you don’t hate me.

My reply:

I don’t hate anyone and of course you’re forgiven. God’s Word says that we should pray that God would forgive us as we forgive others, so to be freely forgiven we must freely forgive. I do have a word of caution for you for the future though.

One of my best friends actually recently asked who you were since they noticed that we were linked on facebook and according to them, you were telling their cousin they were going to hell for liking sports. Whether or not that is Biblical, the biggest problem with all of that was that his 11 year old daughter was dying of cancer. He is now a heartbroken man because she died and yet in the middle of the time of her dying, it is said that you were telling him he was going to hell.

I honestly told them you were the same person who told me I wasn’t in God’s Will and my friend then wrote you off as judgmental and urged me to speak with [Bro. ____/Bro. ____] about you. They said that someone who would say something like that to a man who’s daughter was dying of cancer must be brought to the attention of the pastor. I did not feel like it was my place to say something to the pastors, but my family did put you on our prayer list for a week for God to give you more wisdom with your words.

We must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Use wisdom and love when seeking to help people on this path towards Christ. Remember that Paul said (I Cor 12:31) to “covet earnestly the best gifts [of the spirit]: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” He then went into the love chapter (I Cor 13):

1.Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Your words will never be heard if you don’t temper your wording and timing with love. Christ does want us to be a witness to all, but we must make sure what we say is based on scriptures and can quote their locations in the Bible. We only drive others away from Christ when we forget to temper the truth in God’s Word with grace. For the Bible says that Jesus Himself was full of grace and truth (John 1:14) and we must follow His example.

He replied

Thank you for your forgiveness. I never said though that [the father of the girl who died of cancer recently] was going to hell. I never would tell anybody that. But I did write back to [him] as i did you and asked him also to forgive me for being judgemental and critical of him. I also wrote [his wife] also and asked her the same things. The Lord did show me I was wrong just as in your case. [He] said as you did that he also forgave me. So the Lord himself corrected me in the error of my ways. 
And yes I also felt even worse because I knew his daughter was sick with cancer and he was going through alot then.
So I hope all is well with you concerning these things. 
Also thank you for putting me on your prayerlist. That is very much appreciated.

It is amazing how God works.  My friend was pushing me pretty hard at the time to say something so I started to say hello to this guy’s pastor’s wife and maybe say something, but no message would go through to her, THREE TIMES.  I knew it was God saying to let Him do it.  It’s amazing to see God convicted this man in His way in His timing. I’m kind of curious to hear the story but honestly, human as I am, I would rather just keep my interactions with him limited.

Thank You Jesus for fighting my battles for me- even if the fruit of the battle is seen a YEAR later! 

Rebekah M.

Related Posts:

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/05/28/judgement/

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/05/31/submitting-it-all/

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/06/04/the-lord-fights-our-battles/

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/08/20/a-call-to-christians-being-on-your-guard-part-2/

Guest Post: Rebekah M’s Mom “Entering the Restricted Zone”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other. I am excited that my mom, who is currently in a Bible College program, has allowed us to post one of her previous papers she wrote for a class. Based on the book Entering the Restricted Zone by Steve Willoughby, she writes on events that I witnessed while growing up that show God’s amazing ways and how His hand has been on her and my family all our lives. ~Rebekah M.

storm1

Sometimes when the storms of life come, if we are not prepared, it can be devastating. Many years ago, some unfortunate misunderstandings caused someone in the church to mistrust our family. The more we tried to prove ourselves, the more the situation got worse, and eventually we really did not know how to get out of it. We were all praying and seeking God’s direction. Soon everyone got the answer except for me. I felt I was left out and I cried out to the Lord. Three days later, a lady in the church said that she needed to talk to me. She said she had been praying for me the whole week and that God has a word for me. God wanted her to say this to me: ‘There are three moments. “Moment before moment, I will give you peace”, “Moment before moment, I will give you peace”, “Moment before moment, I will give you peace”’. When she was speaking, the Holy Ghost told me that I was in the second moment. I felt the love of God because He sent someone to pray for me and gave His word to comfort me. I realized that this was a spiritual battle and God had allowed it to happen so we would learn an important life lesson. God has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb 13:5). Yes, my husband and I, because we are confident in His love, were able to overcome the situation.

cross1I know my calling and passion is to love and care for the people who have needs and I enjoy doing that as well because I am eager to share with others the love I have received from God. Then a few years ago, while I was happy and busy helping some people who have needs, something was secretly going on behind my back. Someone had spread rumors and false accusations about my motivation for helping others. I was accused with untrue matters from the distorted information. I was even betrayed by a very good friend whom I trusted and highly respected. When this thing happened, it was so hard to accept and way beyond my understanding. I was confused and scared. I thought “If God really, really, loved me; He would not let me go through this.” I was so hurt. I wrapped myself in pains and agony and I cried myself to sleep for several days. This time the storm had struck me really hard. Then at my lowest point, God reminded me of my third moment. Suddenly I realized that this is my third critical spiritual battle and I was not fighting the battle on my own; I have God and the support of my family. He then taught us how to fight this battle and the key was humility and submission. We were determined to hold on to His Love, stick with our faith and endure to the end. Praise the Lord; once again, through the help of the Lord, we overcame the situation.

I know when God allow trials and tests to happen in my life, it is for my own good. He used those situations to make me strong. Through the difficult times, I have learned how to trust Him and do things His way. Because of the confidence I have in His love, I have joy. And this joy that I have, the devil did not give it to me and devil cannot take it away!

Rebekah M’s mom is a loving housewife who lives the Bible and seeks to be His light where ever she is.  

Published by permission of the author. Submit your own post at beingrebekah@outlook.com. 

The Visions: Part 3

This is part of an email that was sent to my parents by a prophet (who calls my dad uncle because in the Chinese culture anyone your father’s age is an “uncle”) in another country before I wrote what I did in Praying Monday: Press On but they didn’t receive it until afterwards. In it there were three visions. After they confronted me the next day about these visions, I wrote A Daddy’s ChastisementThe Visions: Part One was posted 2/14/13. I was messing up- unofficially in a relationship with a guy who didn’t know God and worse yet, doing things that I shouldn’t with him. Not THAT, but still wrong in God’s eyes. People, some even in church, told me it wasn’t bad or wrong so long as it wasn’t THAT, but God’s standards are not our standards.  I pray that in revealing these visions the prophet had of me, those of you who might be contemplating going down the same road are warned and those who have been there encouraged that God loves you even when what He saw you do this:

HPIM0322.JPGThird picture He show me was I see your daughter she go in the church. She  very happy worship God in the church. The man comes. He sit beside at church. Sudden church seem to bright. Air uncomfortable. The man hurts her. She go to another seat. She worship God. Another man come sit next to her. And church is become too warm. Uncomfortable. This man hurts her too. She go out the church. A man call to her from shade. She go over. Is very cool in shade. Is not too bright. Is fresh air. Everything is better with him. She need decide, lead him in to church or stay in cool shade with him. She know she should lead him in to church, but she remember how inside was so uncomfortable. She feel much better outside. So she stay outside in nice cool shade. And is nice outside for awhile. Then the shade sudden become very dark. The nice cool shade become cold darkness! Dark as night. The storm come. She try to get out of storm. She try run to church. She not can open the door. She not can get inside. The poison inside her make her to weak to open door. 

The bold letters are the prophet’s formatting.  He then urged my parents to pray for me before it was too late and I was too weak to open the door. Given that it’s been over 2 months since this all happened, it’s still flooring to see how God did everything.  I have been trying to lead this guy to Christ. I have made my choice. With tears streaming down my face I told him that he was what I wanted, but not what I needed.  I needed a praying man. I needed a man who knew as much as I did (and would teach our future children) that Jesus loves us beyond words. He loves us so much that He died for our sins.  He’s even said he would read John chapters 1-3 with an open mind (although I’m not 100% sure how well that will turn out since he isn’t sure when he’ll find the time just some vague… “eventually”).

Regardless… Praise God! Praise God that He had this sent before it was too late. Before I was so full of poison that I couldn’t get back to Him. Praise God that what was one of my most mortifying moments in my life brought about one of the greatest blessings in my life: nightly family prayer 🙂  I don’t know if this guy will ever stop walking the line, but I know that I can’t date him and think it won’t affect me.  The detail in this is incredible. He didn’t know of my exes and yet plain as day- both were “in church” and yet both hurt me badly. Drove me away from looking for guys in the church- especially when the guy outside is SO much nicer than them.  But those were only two guys and don’t represent all guys in the church- God’s shown me that in the time since.  I just have to keep waiting on Him, being a light, and seeing where God takes things 🙂

Jesus, 

Thank You once again for saving me. Thank You for bringing the visions to my parents attention before it was too late.  Thank You Lord! Thank You Jesus! I praise You and I thank You! I love You Jesus! 

Rebekah M. 

Related Posts:

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/01/28/praying-monday-pressing-on/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/01/29/a-daddys-chastisement/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/02/14/the-visions-part-1/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/02/28/the-visions-part-2/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/05/02/the-visions-loved-like-gomer-was/

A True Servant

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” ~ Galations 6:2

servant girl

Lately, life has been crazy. Between helping my roommate’s aide daily (who is still in agony, can sometimes put on his own shoes, but not his own jacket, can only eat soft foods and can’t walk unassisted), having him spend nights at our house so his wife can go back to work, helping cover his old duties while we train a new aid, it’s busy. Plus, the house is falling apart (I swear every piece of furniture we own is in cahoots). So it’s been busy.

And through the busy, God has been showing me something. When we’re left to our own devices and we see a need, we may try to fill it. We’ll do ‘what we can’. But very often, ‘what we can’ isn’t exactly what we can do, but what we want to do. In a lot of ways, even under the guise of doing a good deed, we ration our help. We determine what is convenient for us to give.

And while those good deeds are indeed helpful, we really only get the true heart of a servant when we push past our self-imposed boundary. When we lay aside what is convenient for us to give and truly give according to God’s calling to fulfill the need before us, that is when we become servants. Servants don’t do their lord’s bidding when they have a spare second. They put themselves aside. They see their lord as more important than they are, and they do his bidding when he tells them to.

So too are we called to see every person we pass as more important than ourselves. I’m sure it wasn’t convenient for Rebekah to stop and water an elderly servant’s camels, but she put the servant above herself and did it anyway. I’m sure dying on the cross wasn’t convenient for Jesus. But He did it anyway, because while here on earth He acted as a servant. He put the rest of humanity above Himself.

I’m not saying we all have to go to that extreme – God will guide us as to how much of ourselves to actually give. But whatever He asks of us, the fact remains that to be a servant means to go beyond ourselves and place ourselves below the person we’re serving. In that moment, they are more important than we are. Imagine how our regular interactions would look if we all truly embraced that concept in our hearts.

So I invite you today to have God examine your hearts. Make sure your calling as a servant isn’t hindered by a limit you placed on it, but that you are giving according to His calling for you. You can trust Him – He won’t lead you beyond what You can truly bear and He won’t forsake you. He’s our provider, after all – He’s all we need!

God bless!

~Rebekah A

Moved to Praise

The other Rebekahs are some of my favorite people on the planet. They are usually the first ones I turn to when something happens in my day – be it good or bad. They’re the ones I go to when I need prayer or encouragement or just a better perspective, and I really look forward to their posts.

Yesterday’s blog post was even cooler than usual. Like some of you, I logged on to find that Rebekah M. had posted a worship song. And not just any song – she posted a song that she had sung herself with no music. She said herself she’s not a singer and the song wasn’t perfect. And so I wondered what could have moved her to post this. I mean, I know that almost nothing could have moved me to sing to anyone or anything other than my shower (if those walls could talk…..).

As soon as I wondered this, of course, I answered my own question. God moved her. She had a song in her heart, and so she sang it. She put aside all the things that would have concerned me – if my voice was fit to be heard, if my recording skills were ok, the fact that once this was posted it would be available to all 7 billion people on this planet. To sing, or to do any kind of performance you’re unaccustomed to, and to make it public, puts you in a really vulnerable spot. So why do it?

Because it’s not about us. It’s about God. It’s about Him being worthy of all that we have and all that we are. Everything. Even our very voices. Yes, self-conscious shower-singer, that means your voice too (by yours I might mean mine). He is worth putting ourselves in a vulnerable spot so that our hearts can be heard. He is worth taking that radical step to reach a point of true worship.

And through her song yesterday, Rebekah M reached that place. I listened to the whole song, and I was moved most at the end (the part that goes ‘holy, holy, you are, you are….’). When I talked to her about it, she told me that at first in the song she was thinking about her voice, staying in tune, wondering how the song would be received when she posted it. I won’t go so far as to say she was distracted. She was worshiping the whole time. But the farther into the song she went, the more these things faded. The glory of God, the absolute worthiness of Him, took a bigger and bigger hold on her. By the time she got to that ‘holy’ part, she was singing with abandon, every part of her engulfed in pure worship.

I loved it. How often do any of us go to that place? That place where we drop thoughts of everything in this world and just let God consume us? I’m so glad she got to that place through her song. I’m glad she brought us there too. I’m proud of her for taking that radical step to sing a song for public hearing. It’s just one more example of how God moves when we take ourselves out of the equation and let Him.

And so I encourage you today to push yourselves beyond your usual prayer/worship routine. I encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone for a bit. It doesn’t have to be in public (God can still see you), but try it in a different way. Especially through some creative-worship activity – that seems to be where people are most self-conscious. Sing. Draw. Dance. Write a poem. Heck, drum on the table. Just do something different than your norm, accept the fact that you’ll probably feel silly at first, and do it anyway. Push through that vulnerability. Let Him take over. When we get past ourselves, the glory of God is there waiting. God bless, and feel free to tell us how it goes!

~Rebekah A