By Dennis and Linda Lamphere
(Sherry Bushnellís parents)
Ever come to a
crossroad in your life? Does something need to be different?
I have. Deep down
inside, I really knew I could do much better about the way I acted and the way I
In my Bible study
time a few days later, it really came home to me that Jesus acted very different
from other people. He was not politically correct or even socially acceptable.
His answers, statements, stories and teachings (even general conversation) were
unique and not the common way of communicating.
Considering the fact
that God sent Jesus to earth, to sacrifice himself, die on the cross like a
common criminal to save us from hell, Jesus had to be incredibly different from
He had to be the Supreme example of how to live, how to talk, and how to act
As I looked at my own heart, I could see that I really did not line up very well
with His characteristics. HELP! How could I ever come closer to identifying more
First of all I prayed with all my heart. I found a quiet spot and emptied all my
thoughts out to Him and said, ď I just donít get it.Ē
I remember a still small voice saying ďFinally! Maybe I (God speaking to my
heart) can put something back in you worth keeping.Ē
That day, when Jesus spoke to my heart, He changed my life. Here is the starter
order for me:
Be patient. - (I needed to start with this one.)
Be kind. Practice kindness. Pray for others who are difficult for me to be kind
Do not demand my own way.
Donít be irritable (Guess Iím going to have to forget about keeping score! Iím
going to just have to forget all the wrongs done to me.)
Smile and rejoice whenever truth wins out. (This part was easyÖ but I better be
Keep the faith. Never give up. He promises to never, ever leave us or forsake
us. We cannot be embarrassed or ashamed of Him or what He asks us to do.
(Including saying, Iím sorry.)
I knew that it was impossible for me to do even one of these on my ďlove-listĒ
unless God would help me. Setting aside my own identity, my natural desires,
would require more effort than I could ever have. However, God, through Jesus
Christ, placed a desire in me to change.
The more I work at striving to be like Him, the more areas I can see I need to
Yet the wonderful part is, the more I am able to see my need for change, the
more I am able to show Godís love to others.
When I changed my attitudes and responses, my wife, our children and
grandchildren began to respond differently too. It all started with my first
prayer Ö ďDear Lord, please change my heart.Ē
As I thought back to all those millions of wrong responses and decisions in the
past, I could see that keeping a log book of all my blunders would just move my
heart further from Jesus. Now I can see that it was Godís plan all along to get
me to the point where I desperately needed Him.
Changing my identity to be more like Christís isnít that hard. After allÖ we are
all Godís work in progress anyway!