Board Blog

Board Blog

This blog is written by various COS board members for the members of the society.  You must have an active membership to access the entire article.

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Over this past year I have struggled more with my life as a believer. The struggle has not beenOver this past year I have struggled more with my life as a believer. The struggle has not beenin terms of my faith in Christ, but rather in my living for Christ. In short, I felt my life was out ofbalance and that the Spirit was telling my heart that He needed more of me, and I was inagreement- but how? What was the model for this? Then, there was also the need foraccountability. Me, I need to have an accountability partner…enter the “Soul Con (Soul inControl) Challenge”. I had signed up for this earlier this summer, BUT, with the COS AnnualMeeting, and Gallbladder surgery, I'm glad that it wasn't able to work out.

Soul Con’s purpose is to get our life in balance- spiritually, nutritionally and physically. TheSoul Con’s purpose is to get our life in balance- spiritually, nutritionally and physically. Thefocus is not on us, but in Christ. It's not about what we can do, but what Christ can do throughus. It's not about picking up our forks, it's about taking up our cross and dying to ourselves andto the world. By using prayer, devotional time, diet and exercise we learn to control ourthought life and actions- discipline. If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself,and take up his cross, and follow Me. Lk 9:23

In our everyday challenges and decisions we have to decide if we are going to choose Christ orIn our everyday challenges and decisions we have to decide if we are going to choose Christ orthe world. If our decisions are based on what makes us comfortable and happy, instead of whatis expedient for the sake of the gospel, then we are selling God, our families, others andourselves short. However, following Christ is deliberate and costly.

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Last month I completed a master certificate in healthcare management, and our first class was on the topic of leadership and character.  Our textbook for this was “Discover Your True North” by Harvard Business Professor Bill George. Excellent course.

The essence of this ‘true north’ concept surrounds how we each follow an ‘internal compass’ and the textbook interviews over 120 people, each of whom are well-established leaders. Uniformly the book leaders and author discuss the world crisis found in leadership today, which occurs when we veer away from basic sound values such as honesty, transparency, truth. The idea being that as leaders we must be willing to ‘walk the walk’ and ‘talk the talk’. Innately we all know that ‘leadership principles are values translated into action’, as stated in the textbook. The author also states ‘There is no such thing as an instant leader”.  The author and the numerous interviewed leaders are very honest about their own failings back early on, as well as later in their careers.

Being an honest authentic leader can also be studied extensively in the ‘true north’ principles found throughout scripture. We each as Christian leaders in our workplaces and homes strive to leave something lasting don’t we? How we deal with problems and people is something we do constantly, yet we also deal with moments of self-doubt as well as difficulties along the way.

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brindleyDr. Glen Brindley, a former COS Board member and longtime chairman of the department of ophthalmology at Baylor Scott and White, was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He underwent surgery to remove to the tumor on 3/19/18 and is presently recovering at home. He is planning to undergo chemotherapy in 2-3 months, when he is fully healed from surgery, and possible radiation as well.  

He is a man that in the midst of a devastating diagnosis fully trusts in the Lord as “the One Holy Triune God who is Real, who is Good, and who is Sovereign. He told me recently of his desire to “live what I believe and what I have taught all these years” and to “finish strong.” During a recent message to our local church’s Young Married Sunday School class, he addressed the topic of finishing strong in the faith. He closed with the illustration of a rowing team captain, termed a coxswain, who sits in the stern of the boat and is responsible for directing the rowers. He said that many of us, like these rowers who have their backs to the finish line, have no idea where our finish line lies, but we are called to fix our eyes on Christ, our Coxswain, who sees our finish line clearly. Hebrews 12:1-2 puts it this way, “1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

Please pray for Dr, Brindley and his wife Nell that, as they continue to lean into Christ, they will continue to experience His healing, rest, comfort, peace, and wisdom. Pray that God would be glorified and others would be drawn to place their trust in the God that the Brindley’s have come to love, trust, and serve.

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It was my birthday and a very beautiful day in south Texas.  I got off of work early and asked my 8-year old son if he wanted to go on a bike ride with me.  Excitedly, he said yes and off we went together.  Our city is full of wonderful paved bike trails that weave around and through neighborhoods, ponds, and parks.  About half way through the ride we came to an area newly developed which provided an off-trail short-cut over to a wonderful park I love to ride through.  I steered off onto the bumpy dirt trail and rode up the 100 feet or so to connect to the paved trail we would take to the park. 

When I got to the other trail I realized my son was not behind me.  He had barely gotten started into the cutoff.  He did not want to go on the ‘bumpy road’ and was upset that I would take him on something so hard for him to do.  I encouraged him to either try it or it was okay to get off and walk the bike.  Instead, he began to perseverate on why I would take him on such a tough road.   Despite multiple tries to get him to trust me (“I know you can do it”), rationalize with him (“we are almost there”), and let him watch me (“see how to do this?”), he wasn’t having it.   He was stuck.  We ended up turning around and went home…having missed the best part of the bike ride.  He walked his bike the entire way back out of stubbornness, even though the remaining path back home was perfectly smooth. 

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For those of you contemplating either short or long term ophthalmic missions keep reading….

Late last night, my husband and I returned from a brief 2-week mission trip aboard the worlds only floating civilian hospital, Africa Mercy. Currently this ship is nearing the end of its time docked in Douala, Cameroon. Next stop this summer is Guinea. The following year is Senegal.  There are 21 million people in the country of Cameroon, just north of Gabon (shout out to Wendy and Eric Hoffman!) and part of French speaking West Africa.  To serve the ocular needs of these Cameroonian’s, there are only 120 ophthalmologists in the entire country. Their training systems vary from that of the United States, such that only 10 of those 120 actually actually perform any type of eye procedures or surgeries as of summer 2017.  This number should be significantly changed by the end of the Cameroon docked Africa Mercy tour this summer, to total 15 ophthalmic surgeons. This is extraordinary in thinking of the impact towards eradication of unnecessary blindness.

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This number of 15 has come about because of dedicated missionaries, like Glenn and Kim Strauss, who painstakingly train these ophthalmologists in ophthalmic surgery, over a three-month period, five days a week.  They fine-tune their skillset and knowledge basis in the realm of MSICS and pterygium eye procedures, as well as yag capsulotomy.  Glenn and Kim have served off and on aboard this ship now since 2009, in full time capacity.  He’s developed a fantastic curriculum for training local ophthalmologists, as well as folks like me that do more short term mission work.

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