Tag Archives: desert

“Lord, give me the heart of a Servant…”

This is part one of a multi-entry blog series titled, “Lessons I Learned in the Desert.”

In Mark 10:45 Jesus tells His followers that He did not come to be served. Instead, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Jesus came to serve others. In fact, His service would go so far as to include dying for us. In Philippians 2:7 Paul tells the reader that Jesus’ very nature while on Earth was that of a servant. Can we agree that serving others was important to Jesus? If that’s the case, shouldn’t it be important to Christians?

During my deployment, one of my goals was to read the Bible from cover to cover. By the grace of God, I managed to finish this task in 87 days. It was an amazing experience and I learned more than I’ll ever be able to put into words. One of the things the Holy Spirit repeatedly brought to my attention was how frequently the great heroes of the Bible are referred to as servants of the Lord, the Lord’s servant, or some variation thereof. I wish I’d written down all the times I noticed this, but just looking briefly I found where the following people are mentioned as servants of God: Abraham (Gen 18:3), Isaac (Ex 32:13), Jacob (Gen 32:10), Hannah (1 Samuel 1:11), Samuel (1 Sam 3:10), David (2 Sam 7:19), Elijah (1 Kings 18:36), Elisha (2 Kings 3:14), Job (Job 1:8), Mary (Luke 1:48), Simeon (Luke 2:29), Jesus (Mark 10:45 and Acts 3:13), Paul (Col 1:23-25), Timothy (Phil 1:1), Jude (Jude 1:1), John (Rev 1:1) and I’m sure there are dozens of other references.

My point is simple: all the heroes of the Bible (including Jesus, THE hero of the Bible) are referred to as the Lord’s servants. The Church is supposed to be the Body of Christ; shouldn’t we adopt His attitude? The answer is yes! In Philippians 2:5 we’re told that we should have the same attitude as Christ-the attitude of a servant. The greatest thing anyone can ever do is serve others. Has anyone ever used the term “servant” as a derogatory term?

“He’s just such a SERVANT!! I hate it!”

Doubtful. I think that, when done out of love, humility, and a desire to please God, serving has the greatest power to open hearts to the Gospel. No one can say something negative about putting the needs of others before your own. How could they?

Imagine how different our society would be if the American Church truly tried to follow Jesus’ example. We would reach out to the communities around us. We would feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the imprisoned. I doubt the modern Church would have the negative image that it does today.

Serving reorients our perspective. It reminds us that God is in charge. We are simply His instruments to be used in the world around us for His glory. He should be the focus of our lives. Love God and others, right?


To simplify things:

On Tuesday, January 1 at about 2300 Anchorage time, I walked away from my lovely bride, my home, my entire life and stepped onto a plane. My final destination: Afghanistan.

On Saturday, July 12 at approximately 1430 Anchorage time I returned and got to see my friends and, most importantly, my beautiful wife.

But it’s that … in the middle where it gets complicated. How do I put six months of indescribable experiences into words?

The most important thing I can tell you about my experience is that something very simple has been proven to me: God is ALWAYS with me. When the Bible says Immanuel means “God with us” it really means God with us.

He’s always with you, too. If you don’t believe me, go somewhere else. You’ll realize He’s there too. And if, at your new location, you rely more heavily upon Him, He’ll be ready to provide the strength you need. Of course, we need Him constantly. His Spirit is as necessary as the air you breath.

Another thing I’ve learned is that the Body is everywhere too. What I mean is this: no matter where you go, God is with you and so are other Christians. I’ve met some really great people during my travels and I’ve learned a lot from of them. I only hope I was able to encourage them too.

Also, God shown me something very simple. If I ever want to reach other people and change lives; if God will ever be able to use me for His glory, I MUST, MUST, MUST love other people. No matter what I try and no matter who I meet, if I’m not empowered and motivated by love, then it’ll never have impact.

It helps me to read Ephesians 2. In that passage, the author reminds me that I wasn’t always good (and honestly, I’m still not good without the grace of God). The passage reminds me that I was once a filthy sinner in need of being shown the love of God. Now I’m just a filthy sinner who has accepted the forgiveness of God.

What am I trying to say? Basically…I’m not better than anyone and never will be. I am, however, better off than people who haven’t accepted Christ. That’s the only difference. We’re all drowning is a world flooded with sin. The question is, have you received rescue yet?

There are a hundred other experiences I could describe to you. I was sent to Afghanistan as a videographer with a simple mission: Tell the Air Force story. If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is six months of video worth? http://www.bagram.afnews.af.mil/library/bagramvideos.asp

I will tell you one thing though. In my experiences I’ve had the privilege of working beside some amazing men and women who are working hard to bring freedom and a better way of life to the men and women of Afghanistan. Our servicemembers have inspired me with their selfless service working for the freedom of ANOTHER COUNTRY! We have an all-volunteer force. No one got drafted. None of these people have to be there, but they are. And I’m honored I was able to meet them and do my best to tell their stories.

I know I haven’t told a lot about my experiences in Afghanistan, so if you have any questions send me a message and I’ll be sure to answer them.

It’s good to be back. I love you guys and I hope that 2008 has been good to you! God bless!