Greetings and Welcome!

My goal is to share encouragement, grace, and hope from God’s Word, and to brighten your day. Mission trips abroad have enlarged my heart and reminded me once again that regardless of our skin color or location we all need a savior, and His name is Jesus. I pray that my articles will lift your spirits and point you to the One who loves you most.

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May God bless you in your journey of faith.
Warmly,
Fran


This Month's Message

Selfies or Selfless?
By Fran Caffey Sandin

High above the white stone palace a colorful flag swayed gently in the breeze. On the pavement below, prancing horses led the brigade. Solemn-faced soldiers marched in perfect rows, their red uniforms and black plumed hats glistening in the warm summer sun. Our toes tapped to the thump of rhythmic bass drums. Their cadence echoed, then faded in the distance. Where was my family standing? Just outside the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Royalty. How awesome! The queen was at home. My heart pounded as I watched her protectors ceremoniously change guards. Now I understood why London commoners sought a glimpse of the queen, one of the wealthiest women in the world.

Is it possible that someone with an exalted position can also be humble? According to the following story by Eleanor Doan the answer is “yes.”

“The late Queen Mary visited a hospital ward one day and paused for a moment at the bed of a little girl. She asked the child where she lived and the child answered ‘Battersea,’ a poor district of London.

‘Where do you live?’ the girl asked, unaware of her visitor’s fame.
‘Oh, just behind Gorringe’s department store,’ Queen Mary replied.’”

Queen Mary’s graciousness illustrates a humble spirit. The queen did not pull rank. We have many avenues of influence. However, maintaining a spirit of humility may be our greatest challenge.

Many of us would agree that in our world of “selfies” and self-exaltation, pride is a nagging stumbling block. Scripture warns us that “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). It also reminds us that “Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor” (Proverbs 18:12). How can we grasp the meaning of true humility and implement it in our lives?

J. Oswald Sanders wrote: “Humility was not considered a virtue in early days since no Greek or Latin words described humility prior to Christ’s coming. He introduced a revolutionary concept His disciples found perplexing.”

We have the same difficulty today. In Matthew 11: 29 Jesus says, “I am meek and lowly in heart.” The words meekness and lowliness do not imply becoming a doormat, nor do they suggest weakness or a sense of inferiority. They do denote humility and courtesy. Meekness has been described as strength under control. Jesus was both strong in character and tenderhearted.

The seed of humility is planted in each of our hearts the moment we recognize two things: the righteousness and holiness of God and our bankruptcy without Christ. To swallow our pride is a bitter decision, but by doing it we take the first step toward becoming an instrument in God’s hands.

Colonel James Irwin in relating his thrilling walk on the moon said when he returned to earth, “I realized I was a servant, not a celebrity. So I am here as God’s servant on planet Earth to share what I have experienced that others might know the glory of God.”

Chuck Swindoll gives a couple of revealing tests of humility: A non-defensive spirit when confronted and an authentic desire to help others. It requires submission to God as we follow the direction of the Holy Spirit with a gracious and grateful heart. If we feed our natural desires, pride reigns supreme in our lives, but if we stay close to Christ and God’s Word, we will bring glory and honor to our Lord by loving and serving others.

Dear Father in Heaven, Help us to clothe ourselves with humility toward one another because we know you oppose the proud but give grace to the humble. Help us to humble ourselves under your mighty hand so you can lift us up in due time. Help us not to be self-centered, but instead—to be Christ-centered so we will be sensitive to your Holy Spirit as we relate to others. In Jesus’ name, A-men