What Are You Doing This Summer??

Many of you have heard about our upcoming missions trip to somewhere in Central America… sometime this coming summer.

Well, our plans are finalized now, so we’re excited to share them with you!

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Here’s the quick version:

  • What / Where – Medical Missions / Global Health Outreach (GHO, CMDA’s short-term missions arm) trip to San Salvador, El Salvador.  This is an established trip, and we have the privilege of joining a work that’s already been effective in helping our church partners plant 12 new churches in about 5 years!
  • WhenJune 17-25, 2017
  • Whohealthcare students (medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physical therapy, and optometry) residents, fellows & professionals (primary care physicians: Family Practice, Pediatric, OB/GYN, Internal Medicine) dentists, optometrists, pharmacists, and physical therapists)
  • Why – To serve ‘the least of these’; to help our church partners gain access to new communities, where they hope to plant new churches; to experience God’s transforming power; to bring all that God does back to Philly, further strengthening our community so that it can continue to bless others.
You can learn more, and apply, right here if you’d like.  Of course I’m available to answer any questions you might have.
 
I will speak to one possible obstacle – the cost – up front.  While the $2,410 cost for the week may seem high, the trips are top-notch and done very well.  It includes airfare, administrative support, the cost of medicines we’ll bring and many other items.  I’m happy to coach you through raising the support, and people are typically very eager to contribute towards clear needs like this one.  Don’t let raising support scare you away, OK?  
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Welcome to Philly

If you’re just arriving to Philadelphia, we want to give you a warm welcome!  (Even though we’re known as the ‘City of Brotherly Love’, that may not be your first impression.)

LOVE Park, Philadelphia

Whether you’re a new student, resident, fellow or practicing professional, we’re so glad that God has led you here.  Our passion is to come alongside you and help you serve Christ, and the people around you, as much as we possibly can.

You’re coming to Philly at a great time.  God is really at work in our healthcare community!

  • In April, we held our first banquet and 190 people came out to learn more about, and support, God’s work in and through our healthcare community.  There’s a lot of momentum as we look forward toward the fall!
  • Just this past month, we launched our first group for professionals at the home of two local professionals.  The group is open to all allied health, dental and medical professionals and residents, and plans to meet regularly, focusing on transforming, personal relationships.
  • In the fall (August-September), we’ll kick off our fall bible study brunches for students and residents around the theme of Growing Closer To God Even When Life Is Crazy.  The brunches take place every 3 weeks in the home of our area director and feature a great home-cooked meal, home-roasted coffee and opportunities to connect with the Lord and healthcare folks from all around the city.
  • On September 30-October 1, we’ll hold our annual student and resident fall retreat.  Just over 24 hours, the retreat is a fantastic time to get away from the grind and remember why you chose healthcare in the first place.
  • As we head into the New Year, we hold our annual CMDA Northeast Winter Conference over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend (Fri. 13th-Sun. 15th). Students, residents and professionals from DC to NYC gather together for great food, fellowship, teaching, worship, and yes – relaxation.
  • June or July 2017 – we anticipate holding our first-ever international missions trip in Central America through Global Health Outreach, CMDA’s short-term missions arm. Stay tuned and let us know if you have interest!

As you can see, God is doing great things in and through us.  We feel so thankful that God has called you to Philadelphia for this next stage of your journey.

Please let us know how we can serve you, and, help you as you settle in!

For The Nations, From Philadelphia

Our panel at Fall Intermed.

Our panel at Fall Intermed.

Throughout the year, we keep a pretty full ministry calendar. Sometimes, though, God surprises us.

That’s exactly what happened a few months ago when I received an unexpected call from Steve, the CEO of CCHF, Christ Community Health Fellowship, a ministry that promotes Christian healthcare among our country’s underserved populations.

He explained that CCHF’s board, comprised of physicians and leaders from Christian clinics around the country, would be here in Philadelphia for their board meeting in late September.  ‘Would it be OK’, he asked, ‘if we put together an event where his board could interact with our local students and help them gain a vision for their future?’

‘Why yes’, I replied, ‘it would be more than OK’!

So that’s what we did.  On September 20th, we held our ‘Fall Intermed’ at Esperanza Health Center around the theme of using healthcare to serve the underserved. Roughly 80 healthcare students, residents and providers from all around the city gathered to:

  • Learn about the overwhelming need for quality healthcare right here in America, and, how healthcare providers are uniquely positioned to share the gospel. (Did you know that a Gallup polls shows that people trust their physicians and dentists more than their pastors?)
  • Hear real stories of God’s faithfulness from real clinicians serving real patients in Christ’s name.  It was inspiring to see how deeply these providers love their patients and get involved in their lives, as opposed to the usual (and understandable) tendency to hold them at arm’s length.
  • Receive a strong challenge to hold onto, or rekindle, their passion for missions. So many times this is lost amidst the financial, emotional and spiritual toll training exacts.
  • Prayerfully consider – near the end of our time – a next action step to practically respond to what was shared.
  • Eat great food.  Generous contributions made it possible to eat Chick-Fil-A not once, but twice.  This might have been the most exciting part of the event.  (Just kidding!)

You may remember that 1 in 5 physicians in America (and countless other healthcare providers) passes through Philadelphia for some portion of his/her training.  As a result, we recognize that God has entrusted us with a special opportunity to share Christ’s love with the country – and even the nations – simply by being faithful right here.

Thanks to God, beginning with a surprise phone call from Steve, we took another major step forward toward reaching that goal.

Thank you, friends, for making it possible through your prayers and gifts.  Together we are making a tangible difference in the lives of the patients and colleagues our local students and providers touch every day.  As the years go by and students continue to go throughout the country, your investment is multiplying exponentially.

For the Gospel,

Bryan & Sharon

For prayer & praise:

  • Please praise God for a fantastic Fall Intermed and the many people who helped it happen (especially CCHF, Esperanza and our student leadership team).  Please pray that God leads those who came to take specific follow-up steps of love and obedience in response!
  • Please pray for our upcoming Fall Student & Resident Retreat (Oct 11-12). Specifically, please ask God to lead many to register (ends Oct 1st – tonight) and connect deeply with God and others in their situation.  Also, please pray for me and the providers as we interact with students and lead sessions.  Finally, pray for Sharon as she provides a great deal of the logistical support for the event.
  • Praise God for many new first-year students throughout the city!  Each year God is faithful.  Pray that God grants discernment to know who to invest most deeply in, and, how best to do it.  We want to make a lasting impact!
  • Praise God for three student couples Sharon & I are counseling, two of whom I’ll be marrying in the winter/spring.  Pray for us to provide wise counsel, and, to model the sort of marriage we desire for them to have.
  • Finally, please pray for God’s rich financial provision.  We are at a lower point right now.  I’ll be attending a fund-raising conference Oct 28-29 to gain fresh ideas for adjusting our strategy so that we can setup the ministry to accomplish all that God has in mind.  Your prayers for the conference and resulting fruit are coveted!

 

Recent Happenings

As we approach Thanksgiving, we are thankful for another great season of ministry. Here are some highlights since we’ve last written!

Fall Student Retreat

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Our healthcare panel addresses the theme of work and life balance at the fall retreat.

In October, we held our first-ever citywide fall student and resident retreat.  After several years of prayer, God finally opened the door and allowed us to move forward!  We had an absolutely fantastic time as we considered the theme of rest. Dr. Josh Uy and I shared the teaching, and a panel composed of graduate healthcare providers interacted with the students in sharing how they balance the demands of their careers and families.  We also had plenty of relaxed, informal time together.

Global Missions Health Conference

2013 Philly Global Missions Group (2)

Our Philly group at the 2013 Global MIssions Conference!

Earlier this month, I joined a group of about 20 healthcare students and professionals on a road trip to Louisville, Kentucky, home of the Global Missions Health Conference, the largest medical missions conference in the world.  Beyond picking up fresh ideas for our area ministry and networking, the best part for me was spending lots of time in meaningful conversation with people from our local healthcare community.  It was especially rewarding to meet with former students, now medical residents throughout the country, to see how they’re doing and have the opportunity to speak into their lives again. They are a living picture of what our local healthcare community is all about – investing in those God sends us in the hope that they will go out and carry the Great Commission forward!

Expanding Our Team

God continues to bless our ministry with growth and expansion!  Although sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the Lord(!), he continues to provide committed co-laborers.  In the past month, Dr. Neil Pitts, a pharmacist, has joined our ministry council, bringing a heart for the underserved, students, and a desire to help us wisely partner with those at our schools who may not share our faith commitments. In addition, Sharon has been hired as our part-time ministry assistant.  I’m biased, of course, but I can’t imagine anyone more qualified both to serve our women and capably assist with the growing number of administrative tasks!

Deep, Lasting Change

Perhaps more than anything else, we passionately desire that those we reach change in lasting ways that better enable them to serve God and those around them (the two greatest commandments).  By God’s grace, we are witnessing this on a regular basis and it brings us such great joy.  Here are some recent examples: one student has seen that he tends to keep others at arm’s length, but now he’s moving toward the difficult people in his life and helping them change.  Another has appreciated more deeply how fully he’s accepted in Christ, which has given him courage to ask for help and ‘be himself’ in his campus fellowship, which in turn is opening new doors for personal ministry.  Still another is struggling in a new city, but wants to take specific steps to stay connected to God and others where he is, rather than hoping to find it elsewhere as he has in the past.  Although often quiet, we are privileged to be on site as the Spirit works in the lives of those around us.

As Thanksgiving is just around the corner, we are especially grateful for you, our friends and support team.  We hope you are encouraged by the fruit of your investment!

Giving thanks,

Bryan & Sharon

Please lift up these praises and prayers along with us:

  • Praise for a great fall Intermed, fall retreat, Global Missions Health Conference and so many relationships where God is at work!
  • Praise for God’s provision of Dr. Pitts for our council and Sharon as our ministry assistant.  Please pray for wisdom as they begin their new roles.
  • Pray for a strong year’s end financially so that we are positioned well for the coming year.
  • Pray for God to give wisdom as our team meets with students for times of discipleship and mentoring.
  • Pray that God helps our leaders and I conduct ‘halftime evaluations’ in December and make any necessary adjustments for the spring.
  • Finally, pray that the Lord leads many to attend our annual CMDA Northeast Winter Conference (Jan. 17-19) for refreshment and transformation.  Please pray also that God provides generous funding for the event, always a challenge since we subsidize students’ attendance.

Overcoming Obstacles To Medical Missions 2: Can I Get A Job When I Come Back?

In my last post, I addressed the first of two common barriers to pursuing medical missions, the large debt students incur throughout their training.  This time, I address a back-end issue, the challenge of finding a suitable position after you return from years on the field.

A career in medical missions has many benefits, but at some point most missionaries are called to return from the field.  The problem (among other things) is that, while you’re away, your clinical skill set may become quite different from what is required back in the States.  This may create an irrelevance, real or merely perceived, that makes re-entry difficult.

After his presentation on global health at Temple University Medical School, I took the opportunity to ask Dr. John Tarpley about ways to make this process less painful.  Dr. Tarpley, a general surgeon, spent fifteen years in Nigeria before returning to the States and currently serves in an academic position at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

While his remarks are geared especially to an academic medical context, many of them will also hold relevance more generally.

  • Relationships are a somewhat ethereal, but important, part of the bigger picture.  It’s important to treat everyone well, remembering that your resident or fellow may someday be your boss!  Keeping in touch with key contacts while you’re abroad may also prove to be beneficial, allowing you to stay current on what positions may be opening up.  A good word from someone in the right position can make all the difference.
  • Use your furloughs wisely.  Most missionaries come back from the field temporarily, typically for a year, every so often.  While there are many things to do while home, you can also opt to work clinically during that time if you plan ahead.  Many universities have, or can create, positions that will last for the time you’re home, especially if you’re willing to do something less desirable.  Dr. Tarpley, for example, took extra call.  While he worked harder than his colleagues, he worked far less than he did while abroad.
  • Keep your certifications current.  There are often ways to maintain your credentials while abroad.  If you do this, you’ll be more prepared for re-entry if it comes upon you suddenly.
  • There is a certain cost to serving internationally.  While there are many things, such as the above, you can do to make a homeward transition more palatable, it won’t be entirely smooth.  This is simply part of serving Christ.  After all, we serve a Savior whose transition from heaven to earth was anything but easy.  It may take time to be (or return) to where you want to be after coming back, but you can trust that your are on God’s time-table.
  • Trust in what God was doing.  Although at first you may appear less relevant to your American colleagues, while you’re away God will give you the exact experiences and skills He wants you to have for the next leg of the journey.  Eventually, your new colleagues will see the value and wisdom in this, even if they can’t quite articulate that.

So, there are definitely barriers to serving internationally both before and after.  At the same time, God’s love for the world is greater than those barriers, and if He’s calling you away from home, He will make a way.

Tell us your story of God’s provision in the comments section!

Overcoming Obstacles To Medical Missions: What About My Debt?

A medical student checking blood pressure usin...

Image via Wikipedia

Everybody knows the value of medical missions.  Using your medical skills to bring  healing and spiritual transformation in under-served areas.  Knowing that what you bring to the table is desperately needed.  Teaching nationals so that they can carry on, and expand, your work.  The ‘perks’ of having more time with your family, a less frenetic lifestyle, and freedom from malpractice concerns.

But, serving abroad brings many challenges that can easily stop you from going.  In my next two posts, I want to look at two obstacles – one on the front end, one on the back end – and how they can be overcome with God’s help.

In this post, I want to look at the obstacle of debt.  Today’s medical students can easily graduate with up to $300,000 in debt.  By the time you finish residency, the interest can leave you with twice that amount.  Faced with that, it’s easy to conclude there’s no way to go overseas, or, serve somewhere where you’d make significantly less than the norm.

Enter MedSend.

MedSend is a ministry that will pay back your medical student loans over ten years so that you can get to the field right after residency.  Yes, you read that correctly: MedSend will pay back your student loans for you so that you can fulfill your dream of doing medical missions.

In a phone conversation earlier this week, I spoke with a development officer from MedSend about how it works.

The first step, often overlooked, is to make sure you’re called.  You need to ask God to burden you with a passion for a people and/or place.  You need to go on short-term trips to explore your calling.  You need to spend lots of time in prayer.  And you need others to affirm that this is, in fact, God’s leading.

After that, the next step is to officially partner with an approved (by MedSend, but there are many) missions organization like Samaritan’s Purse.  Once you’re onboard, with them you still need to raise your support to pay for the expenses you’ll incur in your new location.

Once those things are in place, MedSend becomes involved and begins paying back your loans so that you can go and serve.

Right now, MedSend is sponsoring approximately 150 healthcare professionals around the world, including those in domestic under-served areas.  They represent about 40 different specialties and fields such as medicine, nursing, pharmacy and veterinary medicine.  So, there’s a place for everyone.

If you’re not sure about the idea of medical missions, are you open to exploring it and asking God what He wants, whatever the cost may be?

The good news is that, if God is calling you, your debt doesn’t need to get in the way.

More Than Skin Deep: Opportunities In Plastic Surgery

“Beverly Hills. The most beautiful woman in the world. Plastic surgery. What do those three things have in common? Me, in less than a week.”

— Dr. Benjamin Stone, Doc Hollywood (1991)

Those of us old enough to remember this film grew up thinking plastic surgery meant lots of money, tummy tucks, and, if we’re honest, a pretty boring existence as a physician.

And, in reality, it can be like that.  A local plastic surgeon, once based out west, confirmed that his job was pretty similar to the ‘Doc Hollywood’ experience.  Lots of money, but pretty unfulfilling.  He grew tired of raising someone’s cheek an eighth of an inch.

But God had bigger plans for him and his training.  Now based outside of Philadelphia, he primarily serves women who’ve had mastectomies.  Things that most women take for granted have been lost, and it’s his privilege to restore a measure of choice and dignity to them and their families.

Another physician I know always dreamed of being a missionary physician.  He, too, eventually chose plastic surgery.  He and his wife wound up going to Ethiopia, where his work focused on cleft palates and other important procedures for that culture.  In his particular area of focus, cosmetic issues led to ridicule and isolation even greater than our American culture.  And so, under very different circumstances than the other doctor I mentioned, he too restored dignity to people half a world away.

This ability to restore wholeness and bestow dignity, I think, is what gives plastic surgery a solid, more lasting, appeal.

It’s not that a cosmetic defect or injury inherently takes dignity away, or, that unusual beauty creates or heightens it.  When God had the prophet Samuel choose one of Jesse’s sons to be the next king, he rejected Eliab despite his GQ exterior (1 Samuel 16:7).  And the Syrian commander Naaman’s leprosy did not prevent his healing at God’s hand (2 Kings 5).  So, when a plastic surgeon performs a procedure, it’s not that she’s creating dignity in the truest sense.  Because that ultimately comes from God, that can neither be ultimately given nor taken away.

So, then, what is a plastic surgeon really doing?

I’m still thinking about this, but at least two things comes to mind.

First, a real part of being made in God’s image (or likeness) includes how we look.  (Similar to how a community’s appearance is not its most important trait but still matters).  Although Western culture has gone too far and become obsessed with its appearance, that doesn’t mean how we look is unimportant.  Children are not supposed to have cleft palates.  People are not meant to become disfigured in accidents.  As it is, though, the entire world is broken and in need of repair.  Plastic surgeons take part in God’s call to restore us to ‘original factory condition’, the way we were meant to be.

There’s a second issue here that’s really an elaboration of the first.  Part of living in a fallen world often involves receiving ridicule and shame because of our brokenness.  When that brokenness is cosmetic and obvious to everyone, other broken people may make fun of us in ways that are legitimately painful, no matter how close we are to God.  And, beyond what others send our way, we add our own self-reproach.  In an ideal world, we wouldn’t worry about how we look, but in this world we also bring our own issues that come from making appearance more important than it was meant to be.  Through restoring the body, plastic surgeons can essentially remove or reduce these temptations, both from without and within, to shame and disgrace.  In that sense, they restore dignity and it matters.

So, what may at first appear shallow is actually quite profound.  Jesus forever proved this when He healed ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19).  But it was far more than just a healing and points to one of the tremendous opportunities that comes from this line of work. The post-operative transformation is often dramatic and leads to great thanksgiving among people who otherwise might be less open to the gospel.  (The man here was a Samaritan).  You can bet he told His friends about Jesus and that this had a profound effect on the people around him.  By God’s design.

Could it be that God is calling you to consider a career in plastic surgery as a way of partnering with Him in His Kingdom work?

World Medical Mission – Post-Residency Program Dessert Night

On Saturday, September 24th at 6pm, World Medical Mission (medical arm of Samaritan’s Purse) is sponsoring a free dessert night at Calvary Baptist Church in Bristol, PA.  Two missionary physicians with local connections will share about their experiences with WMM’s Post-Residency Program, as well as their upcoming plans for international, medical missions.

Of the 62 current participants in the program, 8 are from the Philadelphia area.  I know several who have had a great experience with the program and can recommend it enthusiastically.

Interested participants should call Allan Reichenbach at (215) 757-4168.  The only thing you need to bring is… you!

World Medical Mission’s Post-Residency Program

Are you a resident contemplating God’s call into full-time medical missions?  If so, this may be just the opportunity for you.  Please read the note below from World Medical Mission’s Post-Residency Program Director and CMDA partner, Scott Reichenbach.

On a personal note, I know at least one physician who had a very good experience with the program. She is now serving full-time overseas in Papua New Guinea at the hospital she worked at during her time with WMM.

Dear Resident Physician,

World Medical Mission, a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, is again looking for exceptional Christian residents and fellows who believe the Lord is calling them to consider a career in medical missions immediately following their training.   World Medical Mission’s Post-Residency Program is a fully-funded, two-year program that places and supports selected physicians and their families in established evangelical mission hospitals within six months of the completion of their training.  Physicians will work within their specialty, alongside career medical missionaries, who will mentor and encourage them as they begin their medical missionary careers.  Physicians will be exposed to the blessings and challenges of medical missions while gaining valuable practical experience in preparation for a lifetime of mission service. 

Now in our seventh year, the Post-Residency Program currently has twenty-two physicians and their families in a variety of specialties, serving in 11 countries around the world.  This fall, another 12 physicians will depart after they have completed their residencies and have taken their respective board exams.  Our goal continues to be the mobilization of young Christian physicians to live out God’s call on their lives towards careers in international medical missions.  Through this program, physicians will see firsthand the power of the Gospel to change lives as they are challenged to meet the physical and spiritual needs of hurting people around the world. 

Applications for the Post-Residency Program are due June 1 before you begin your last year of residency (i.e., if you complete residency in 2012, your application is due by June 1, 2011).  Personal interviews will be conducted in Charlotte NC in either July or August and selections will be made by September.  For more information visit our website www.samaritanspurse.org/prpor e-mail: postresidencyprogram@samaritan.org.

If you are unsure where the Lord is leading but you are interested in spending an elective month serving overseas, World Medical Mission can help arrange a short-term volunteer opportunity for you and your family as well.  For more information about short-term volunteer opportunities and the hospitals we serve, please visit our website www.samaritanspurse.org  or e-mail wmminfo@samaritan.org.

May God be glorified,

Scott Reichenbach

Post-Residency Program

World Medical Mission

Office: 828-278-1355

Following God Wherever He Leads

As promised, this post is about what we learned from Gary Klein at our recent Intermed gathering.  Gary’s messages were rich, full of insight fueled by 20 years of providing primary care and pastoral training in the Dominican Republic.

Everything he shared was wonderful, but I believe we learned two key things.

To communicate the first lesson well requires sharing (with Gary’s permission) the story of what happened to Gary and his family just after they arrived in the DR for their mission work 20 years ago.

In those early days, Gary and his team saw every patient that showed up at their clinics.  At one of them, at nearly 2 in the morning, a witch doctor showed up, blew a powder in his face, and said, “I put a curse on you.”  Laughing the curse off, Gary continued seeing patients and was thankful to return home, noting that his family was fine.

A few days later, though, one of his young sons drowned in an accident in their backyard.  Needless to say, it was devastating, and Gary began to reconsider the reality of spiritual warfare and the witch doctor’s curse.  Courageously, he decided to go ahead with the next clinic.

Things were going well when, all of a sudden, Gary received word that someone had fallen into a well with deep water on their clinic site.  It was another one of their sons, and he didn’t know how to swim.  Although his son was rescued and recovered, he and his wife were deeply shaken and ready to leave the country before anything else happened.  Who could blame them?

This time of despair drove Gary and his wife to prayer.  Even though they were devastated, they knew that God had not abandoned them.  What did He want them to do?

In the meantime, with another clinic quickly approaching, the villagers from that community approached Gary and told him they wanted nothing to do with him or his clinic.  Word about the tragedy had spread quickly, and the witch doctor was threatening anyone who dared to come.  Again, Gary and his wife committed the matter to prayer.

Soon after, Gary received the news about another tragedy.  This time, a bus full of people had unexpectedly hit a patch of gravel and fallen down a steep embankment. Gary anticipated that everyone had perished, but this had not happened: instead, only the witch doctor had been lost.  It was a miracle, and, all of a sudden, the villagers contacted Gary and told him that they not only wanted him to do the clinic, but, free from the witch doctor’s control, they also wanted to hear about Jesus.

During his 20 years in the DR, Gary’s ministry has treated 175,000 patients, many of them during the crisis in the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti.  (Haiti shares an island with the DR).  Of those, over 6,500 have come to know Christ.  Countless supplies and medical care has been dispensed in Christ’s name.  National pastors have been trained not only spiritually, but also taught everything they need to know to be truly self-sustaining, a real rarity in impoverished countries.

And yet, Gary emphasized again and again, due to the early challenges, how the ministry almost ended before it began.  The lesson he – and we, through him – learned, was to persevere in the face of difficulty.  Although we want it to be, God never promises it would be easy.  In fact, He tells us that “ll who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).  Are we willing to persevere in His calling if it turns out to be much harder than we thought it would?

The second lesson Gary shared with us also comes from the story of God’s work in his life and ministry.  Before going to the DR, Gary essentially told God that he was open to going for 5 years – no more!  Over time, though, God showed Gary that He doesn’t make deals with us, or, relate to us as if we’re equal partners in a corporation.  While this is scary because we can’t control the outcome, it’s better because God is far wiser than we are.  Only He can shape our lives in a way that brings Him the most honor and us the most good (see Romans 8:28).

In a way, both of these lessons really boil down to one poignant question: are we willing to submit to God’s loving, wise ownership of our entire lives?  I know that, for me, this is a process and I continually find (and re-discover) areas where I want to hold out and negotiate.  Perhaps you can identify.  Thankfully, God is unbelievably patient, bearing with us and bringing us along one step at a time.  Let’s re-commit to yielding all of who we are to Him.