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STARS! and Doormats (2004-02-23 - 5:29 p.m.)

Christi and I went to a Dallas Stars game yesterday afternoon. She won tickets again for her company’s luxury suite. I think I mentioned that already. We had a good time at the game, and the Stars won 4-0. Ironically, I saw only one of the four goals, due to various circumstances. As hockey games go, though, it was relatively mild. There were no fights, and not even a lot of slamming against the wall. One really cool thing happened. During the first period, they showed a clip of the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team beating the Russian team. Then the camera switched to a guy in the stands and introduced him as the team captain from that 1980 USA team. The guy was actually at our game! He received about a five-minute standing ovation. Made me all teary-eyed.

The thing that bothered, me, though, and some may say that I’m just being picky or even stupid, was that during the singing of the National Anthem…well, as those of you who know the words to this song know, it says the word “star” or “stars” twice in the song. As the young lady was singing, when she got to one of those words, a bunch of people in the crowd yelled, “STARS!” Personally, I find that to be a bit disrespectful. I don’t think that they should be using our National Anthem to be plugging our local team. That’s just my opinion, though.

Today, in My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers talks about service. The crux of this writing is about those of us who are “called” to the ministry. “We have the idea that a man called to the ministry is called to be a different kind of being from other men.” I have experienced this type of person in various pastors that I have met. “According to Jesus Christ, he is called to be the ‘doormat’ of other men; their spiritual leader, but never their superior.” Read that again. I need to read that again. And again. I am superior to no one. If I am to be a minister, I am literally to be a “doormat.” My entire being rebels against that concept. I am too proud to be a doormat. But this is Paul’s idea of service—“I will spend myself to the last ebb for you; you may give me praise or give me blame, it will make no difference.” Here is the key statement in this writing, and this is where many of us, as ministers, get off track. “The mainspring of Paul’s service is not love for men, but love for Jesus Christ.” He goes on to say that if we let devotion to humanity be our source of strength, we will be crushed by the amount of ingratitude that we receive. However, if our devotion is to Christ, “no ingratitude can hinder us from serving our fellow men.”

There was going to be more, but there isn’t.

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