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Hello again, friends! Welcome back to the blog, it’s good to see you! :) This week, I have the privilege of sharing some words from Jeff! I hope you’ll all enjoy.

I know it’s been a few months since we sang Away in a Manger; but have you ever just sat and thought of the splendor, grandeur and royalty of Jesus…to the end that one day every knee will bow and every day should bow? {Take a minute or ten and explore this thought.}
And yet.  Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:20-28 and Mark 10:35-45).  Every aspect of Jesus, who, remember, is the exact representation of God, displays, dare I say, spews, humility: his birth, his questions, his obedience, his wait, his sufferings, his interactions, his teachings, his posture before the Father, his attitude towards the Law, to name just a few. {Can you make your own list?} And yet.  Nowhere in scripture or secular writings has Jesus ever displayed the loss of humility (pride)—be sure not to confuse confidence with pride; if you do, you may want to define confidence as a proportion of humility and reconsider. Nor has he ever displayed feelings or thoughts of inferiority or unworthiness—be sure not to equate nothingness with value.
How is it, then, that Jesus could think, feel and act in such a way?  Is his life the very essence of this one aspect of love? Can we love in the same way with the absence of pride in all its self-serving manifestations?  What must our mind and heart be filled with in order to love this consistently and deeply?  How does making comparisons with other people affect our ability to love?  Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith; he is our example.  What in his character leads us to the answers to these questions?  Answer:  nothing.
Yes.  Nothing.  He left the heavenly palace and became nothing (Philippians 2).  He spoke about nothing: just reflect on his words, the ‘nothing’ and ‘not’ statements in the book of John (5:19, 5:30, 5:41, 6:38, 7:16, 7:28, 8:28, 8:42, 8:50, 14:10, 14:24).  His simple consent to let God be all led to a humble existence.  He lost nothing by giving all to God; therefore, he could love sincerely unencumbered by comparison, inferiority, worry, fear, or the desire for the praise of men and his material belongings.  And since Jesus humbled himself this completely, he was free to love as completely. And God honored his trust by meeting all his needs.
I am by nature deeply insecure and daily face my fears of failing; with men I strive not to compare and with women not to disappoint.  The little boy in me never felt he got enough (is that possible?)…not material things but affirmation and value.  These are impediments to my ability to love sincerely and serve others; to allow others to receive the honors.  Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism said, “A leader [read servant] is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: ‘we did it ourselves.’” Jesus paves the way with his love, his humility.  He believes in you and me to carry on his work (Philippians 1:6).  He chose you and me (Ephesians 1:3-14) to do more than he did (John 14:12) and to be more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).  Amazing!  Are you kidding me?  So what’s the key not to turn that into a worldly pursuit of power and prestige?  Nothingness.  The kind that comes from complete humility (Ephesians 4:2).  It is mine and your one need.  It is the heart of Jesus as seen when the disciples argued who should be the greatest, when he saw how much the Pharisees loved the chief seats, and when he washed the disciples feet.  It’s what Paul, who learned it from Jesus, wrote to the Romans (12:10,16), the Corinthians (13:4-5), the Galatians (5:26), the Ephesians (4:1-3), the Philippians (2:3-8) and the Colossians (3:12-13).
Andrew Murray in his book, Humility, stated, “Our humility before God only has value inasmuch as it prepares us to reveal the humility [love] of Jesus to our fellow man.”  So it is within the interactions of my fellow man, the ways I express love to brothers and sisters, that my humility can be measured and observed.  And within this portal lies the measure of my love and God-likeness.  The observable space by which I am a royal priesthood, an ambassador of love and emissary of the Father.  Nothing leads me to something which eventually leads me to everything. Therefore, the humble, loving person per Murray: “feels no jealousy or envy, praises God when others are favored, bears with the failings of others, values death of self, poverty of spirit, meekness, humility, and lowliness and asks himself, other believers, and the world:  Do you recognize in me the likeness of the original?”  If so, then all will see God and claim “He is not proud!”  If not, then they will turn their back on him. I for one want to continue to explore the depths of this quality of love that I might reach the frontiers of nothingness and so become like Jesus who loved humbly and without end. Hmmm….maybe this year I will simply ask for nothing for Christmas.
Eh-hem, but before then comes summer camp.  Wahoo!  Our theme this year centers on being humble (we are working on a cooler, catchy name). We chose “humble” (versus “humility”) because the word conveys a conceptual state of the heart, a focus of the mind, a calling to the soul which has the power to define a life and mold it in the like of Jesus; unlike the word humility, which can metallically ring out to our intellect or jingle in our pocket like something we could own and give away or let others borrow.
Humble, say it out loud, humble: something in this word, in this quality has the power to change the world.  Yes, we need to understand humility dissecting it inside and out, up and down, but if we stop there and don’t allow this understanding to permeate our very nature, we will miss out on the one quality that defines Jesus and, thus, real Christianity that is sorely missing in this world: the quality of being humble. It can and will change the world.
If your child has already registered—like over 350 have done—then start praying for a porous heart in each camper, counselor, and volunteer so we can all grow to be humble and change the world.  If your child is not registered, click here and get er done so your child will not miss out on an exciting summer.

Well, my friends, that's all from us this week! Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to read the blog. As usual, I'll be praying for each of you to have a safe and encouraging week!

Much Love,

Bri <3

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