Month: November 2018

Human greatness vs. Heavenly greatness

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Matthew 20

24 And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Ambition is a human thing. From the day I started my first job I wanted to do well and I wanted the boss to like my work.  When I presented a proposal to a Christian printing company and they accepted it without reservation, it felt good.  As humans, we like being recognized for our work.  So when the ten disciples heard that the mother of James and John asked for her sons to sit on the right and the left of Jesus in the new kingdom, they were put out, “greatly displeased.”

This was the time for Jesus to give a lesson on true greatness.  Jesus often spoke in contrasts and here He does not disappoint.  Imagine hearing this for the first time.  Let me break it down in very simple terms: greatness comes from servant-hood – slavery; first in line comes from being last in line; greatness comes from serving and giving your life away.  If you had never heard this before and your mother just asked for your greatness, what might you feel?

People have not changed; we still want recognition, position, better than average placement, and so on.  Jesus gave the opposite instruction telling people of all time that true greatness, for He was truly great, comes from being the slave of others all the way to the death, if necessary.  Who can you serve today? Who can you go out of the way to treat with undeserved kindness and honor?  If you even give a cup of cold water in the Lord’s name, there is reward for you are serving the one you are giving the water to. Do you want to transform you home, your work environment, or your dorm room?  You will transform your surroundings when you treat others better than yourself serving them for Christ’s sake because He so fully served you.


I am looking forward to Sunday as I will be back at Grace for Life bringing the morning message.  The text will be from 1 John 5:11-21 if you would like to read ahead.  This will be my last message before I leave on November 30th

Elianna continues to improve.  Her body is very weakened from six days of not moving and only getting nutrition through the I.V.  She is talking now and was glad to see her siblings yesterday.  They did determine that she has an allergy toward cat dander.  A few months ago Hadessah got a cat but Shadow is an outdoor only cat, nonetheless, it seems Elianna reacted to that toxin.  Keep praying with us for God’s to give strength to our little girl.

Have a great day in the Lord,


Our sick Elianna

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So many of you have been praying for Steven and Rachel’s daughter, Elianna.  Last Thursday night her lungs reacted to some airborne toxin which caused the lungs to swell.  The swelling was such that Elianna could not breathe.  There were a few moments during the next four hours that we did not know if she was going to live.  Thanks to a doctor at Rush Copely who demanded she be stabilized with a breathing tube and a respirator before she was transported to Rush Medical Center in Chicago.  Thanks to a doctor at Rush who took over Elianna’s case before she got there and acted quickly and decisively when she arrived there.  Most of all, thanks to God who gave wisdom and guidance to all who cared for her that dark night.  God has shown Himself loving and kind to our family and to Elianna.  We are thankful to God for His grace to us as He saved us from greater trials.  God Himself has been our Good Shepherd caring for the older and the younger sheep.

As of tonight, Elianna is still intubated but they have taken her off of the paralytic making sure she can breathe on her own.  Yesterday noon they turned off the respirator and she has been breathing on her own since.  Today they took a lung test and cleaned the lungs preparing to remove the tubes tomorrow.  The Lord, our good Shepherd, has carried his sheep through a dark time and we are now seeing the light of his healing and care.  Thanks to all who have uplifted our dear Elianna in your prayers.  We know our Lord has heard all of your prayers and continues to do so.

Have a great day in the Lord,