Roger Bothwell

Roger Bothwell
Roger Bothwell's Devotionals

The Benefits of Being Nice

Anyone who has ever spent time as a patient in a hospital knows the medical profession is anti-sleep.  Maybe it’s because the staff that covers the night shift are resentful of anyone who gets to rest.  Last week I was consistently awakened at midnight to take my vitals.  Really?!  And then at 5 A.M., I was awakened to draw blood.  Now I try to be a nice guy.  I try to be polite and thoughtful of other’s feelings but when the phlebotomist came in at 5 and turned on all the overhead lights suddenly blinding me and producing visions of the apocalypse, well, let’s just say; I wasn’t overly Christ-like.  And then it occurred to me.  I had an epiphany. We all know you should always be nice to anyone who is handling your food.  I realized how stupid I was not being nice to a woman who was about to pierce me with a ten foot long needle!  And yes, just in case you wondered, she did make me pay for my rudeness.
Often times I excuse my bouts of rudeness by remembering Matthew 23 where Jesus isn’t “gentle Jesus meek and mild.”  Then I have to remember His wrath was produced by those with power abusing those without power.  My displays are because I feel disrespected.  There is a huge difference.  Jesus never lashed out when it was personal.
His message to us in the Sermon on the Mount is consistent regarding our going the second mile and turning the other cheek.  If we really want to witness we do so by our behaviors and responses and not by handing out pamphlets.  He did say, “Hereby will men know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

A Unique Baptism

Springtime in our little city means it’s time to do the annual flushing of the fire hydrants.  It doesn’t make one overly happy if you just washed your car and have to drive through a huge spray of water.  This afternoon I saw people turning onto side streets to avoid the baptism.  However, there was one very inventive fellow doing just the opposite.  Apparently his car was still salty from the winter streets and he saw a hydrant spouting into a parking lot.  First he drove through it very slowly and then turned around and drove through it again getting the other side, then he pulled up to it and got a good dousing over the front end.  He got a $12.00 wash for free. 
It reminded me of someone being baptized by immersion.  You want to make sure you get them completely wet.  Not long ago I had the joy of baptizing my niece’s husband. He is about 6 feet 7 or 8 inches tall.  I couldn’t reach high enough to get my hand over his head.  Because he is a retired navy diver, he figured out how to get low enough for me.  I still couldn’t bend him backwards and bring him back up so he knelt and I splashed water over the remaining top of his head that wasn’t submerged.  I must admit I completely understood the hearable snickers from the congregation.  But it was a very happy, joyous experience.  It was a time for laughter.
Baptism is a public expression of having given one’s life to Jesus.  It is not a ticket to heaven.  It is a joyful way of saying, “Thank you, Jesus, for the gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of all my sins.”

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