Joy in History

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By: Dr. Melissa Cheeks, CVM North Central Region Representative

“Come and teach us your skills that we may do things for ourselves.” The African woman’s words drove deep into an American veterinarian’s heart in the summer of 1975. His love for Jesus propelled him to use his skills to meet the needs of the world’s poor. And that is where the story of Christian Veterinary Mission (CVM) begins.

My family has pride in its Swedish roots, traced back to my great-grandma who immigrated to America. Though I never met her, my middle name is Anna (Ah-na), which was her first. A framed photo of her sits in our guest room. In the image, she stands proudly next to a bed of phlox flowers that stand taller than her. My mom carried these flowers from place to place when I was growing up, and now they are planted outside my own home here in Madison. My phlox have never grown as tall as Anna’s, but maybe someday, as they deepen their roots.

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Ministering to Clients in their Grief

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Drs. Kelley and Bryant Phillips strive to use their veterinary practice to make an impact for the kingdom of God. They have found that one of the most powerful ways to demonstrate Christ’s love is a small gesture they make after a client loses a pet: sending a Remember a Pet memorial card.

Bryant and Kelley Phillips first heard of Christian Veterinary Mission’s pet memorial card program while they were part of a CVM fellowship group at Auburn University together. Excited by the vision and mission of CVM, when the pair married they decided to make CVM a part of their life together. They began going on short term trips and using the Remember a Pet memorial card program (then known as Lovelines) as soon as they opened their practice together as a way to support CVM. However, it quickly became more than a way to donate to veterinary missions.

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Serving In An Ordinary Life

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By: Dr. Page Wages

As veterinary professionals, we wear so many hats and juggle many roles. In addition to our roles in the veterinary industry we are mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers. We serve in our church and communities, many of us own farms or properties we must manage, and we have commitments to our families. We may be single parents, caring for our own elderly parents, or caring for sick family members. But beyond those hats, we also wear that hat of being a Christian. So the question lies, while juggling all of our roles, how can we live out the call of the Great Commission? In Matthew 28:19 Jesus says “Go and make disciples of all the nations,” but how do we accomplish that while still managing everything else on our plate?

First and foremost, the most important recognition is that yes, we are veterinary professionals…but you must ask yourself the following question: Are you a veterinary professional who is also a Christian? Or are you a Christian who happens to be a veterinary professional?

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Transformers are not Conformers

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By: Dr. Bill Janecke, CVM Fieldstaff serving in Bolivia

“To most believers, their faith is a “bonus” or an add-on dimension of their life rather than the priority around which everything in their life revolves…more often than not, our goal is to feel happy, comfortable, and secure.”  Growing True Disciples By George Barna

Over the last year or so, my Guarani colleague, Alcides, and I have been gathering information from Guarani folks young and old about their worldview. One of the things we found is that the worldview of most Guarani Christians is not much different from that of the non-Christians.  Most of the time it is hard to tell them apart just by having conversations about “non-religious” things. It gets easier when you bring religion into the conversation because the Christians tend to be more judgmental and sure of who will be in Heaven and who won’t and what you need to do or say to get there.  But as George Barna put it in the quote above, it is too often an add-on, it doesn’t change much about how they live each day or how they view their neighbor, but it does give them security about what is to come once this life is over.

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The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

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By: Dr. Adrian Gammon

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” -Nehemiah 8:10 NIV

I’ve often thought of God’s power being my strength, or His wisdom, but have often struggled to understand His joy as being my strength too. I keep thinking of the song “The Joy of the Lord is my strength” – which repeats that line somewhere around a million times. It’s repetitive, but it does stick in my head as well. Which is what I need when I don’t feel like being joyful. But there is strength found in God’s joy.

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