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Logo of AMEN 2019: Christ in You

Sharing Jesus in an Optometric Practice

Thomas Sanders OD


OBJECTIVE To explore ways to share Jesus in an optometric setting on a daily basis as God puts patients in our path where He can use us.



  • November 1, 2019
    2:00 PM
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The order human beings here that secure wisdom we seek to follow you every day we seek for you to come into our lives and changes will asked you I ask that you will bless me as I speak as we share how much you mean and how are your where you living in our lives so bless us now as we go Jesus to a man have we had the patient that comes back the staff says he's back again. Jerry was that type of patient he I saw him 1st I think in about 2012 you know he's a single man his wife had passed away I believe right now he's 75 and he came through we gave him a nice pair of glasses on and he had only Medicare a so you know that doesn't even pay for the Medicare for the exam but he wanted to come and so we he paid for the glasses and he was a happy camper you know and no problems at all because back in 2015 or 16 I think I may have to look at my dates and orders another per glasses vision the change he started seeing a little early cataract made a little decrease in vision so I didn't those on him and his wife left I had a little little scar and I didn't look like a Druce in it there wasn't sure what it was but it didn't seem to be affecting his vision and so again he ordered the per glasses and his frame was pretty beat up and so he ordered another frame and he who goes on his way I don't see him for another year year and a half almost 2 years he comes back comes the office comes for the next exam how are you doing how are the glasses doing I could never were that's not a good sign. When they come back and I said well why didn't you bring him back he said we have for the 1st 3 months Oh it gives me a free redo there's no cost no for me when you can get a free pair of glasses and I'll change I'll make sure you see Oh. And so we check them out it didn't look like his drug vision to drop a little bit he had started a little more cataract formation. And so we fed him a new pair of glasses and he gets the x. 3 he gets the transitions he gets everything you know on it is expensive per glasses a month later he comes back not working and not working at all again I can't I can't see him again so we put him through the exam it showed very little change. And I'm saying this doesn't make sense and so. We redo the glasses and he goes away for it for 6 months this time and comes back and says they're still not working so we repeat the o.c. t. And what do we see will be written membrane you macular pucker and that's on this other right there right Ida left eye still looks the same and so we know is vision is cataracts us leaving getting worse and so and he doesn't have glasses aren't working isn't working again and so we eat it and do a 3rd redo that means we eat it you know and and then we start talking he says what human interest you have a said well I have I'm of the I'm a vet I can go to the v.a. because I have v.a. referrals a lot coming to our town because we don't have a a v.a. clinic nearby so I pay refer a lot of patients it just for exam and they go I down to the get the glasses I said the v.a. will pay for your glasses and. And so we talk about it and say hey you know here's your brother got to give you a prescription take it down to the b. after this and I said they'll give you per glasses and and this is you know Also I'm getting double vision and you know cataract can get a slightly doubling in times and but I measure a little vertical for you about 2 doctors now which is totally new because I check that every time and so we put a vertical prism and change the prescription a little bit he takes it down to the Veterans Association they've given per glasses but 3 weeks before they have a made form he brings them back to the office all wrapped never been opened yet he says I have an open I was afraid to open them and. He said I don't I. I want you to check in 1st and I check and the v.a. didn't put the prism in so we sent him back to be a they get him fixed again and the 3rd the last time he came back can not last time but the time when he finally brought those glasses and we put them on him he says I've been talking my pastor about this I want him to pray for me bingo bingo What do I do I'm saying what why am I not praying about it and right then in their office I put my arm around because he's a nice guy he really is the staff are looking at me and my daughter who is my office manager saying you should be charged for these rejects there's having problems I don't this not my way and she doesn't like that though but so we have a nice word of prayer and I've never seen anybody he just relaxed it just made a difference that the prayer time with that patient made a big difference. He came back in about a week ago before we came in and he said I've been wearing them for 2 months it's not perfect but it's better it's like and we're in but it's not good and this cataracts are getting better is an Epi remembering is probably increasing but prayer it's so easy to forget sometimes when you're in trouble and you can't figure out what's going to. God does mazing things in her life you know. Let me read you a quote here if I can get this going here let's push push. Which way there you got it if you will go to work as Christ designs that is the societal shell and when souls for him you will feel the need of a deeper experience and a greater knowledge in divine things and will hunger and thirst after righteousness you will plead that God and your faith will be strengthened and your soul will drink deeper drafts at the well of salvation in countering opposition and trials will drive you to the Bible in prayer and you will grow in grace and knowledge of Christ and will develop a rich experience every day. We go to the Bible the Bible is your 1st food should be your 1st food and it's and I regret in my younger days I did have words but I did not make the Bible my life primary food because it now is yours we get older we realize we're not going to last forever I had 2 stents in my heart 3 and a half years ago and and I know I'm human you know your were my 70 years are up but everything after this is gravy by the grace of the Lord and you know and so I seek to know God. And to know him better so that I can sure I'm with patients so that I'm aware of patients needs. Christianity is not about what you do it's about who you know and who you know will transform what you do this this this idea is more events and it's also a lot of the stuff I'm getting today is is from our small group we're going through Gary Ben that's all about Jesus he's doing it for your wrist likely events and so a lot of this information and it just hits you you got to know Jesus and mice are small group and it's a Monday nights now. We are going through the series about learning about Jesus and some of this is one of his his and he was at our camp meeting this year to Redwood's and in Northern California about 2012 my wife and I were talking about we were be in between pastors and we're talking about this kid small group let's get a group studying the Bible together and we each we prayed about it and we just we just said what can we who can we get and this friend of mine now Ruth good friend now named Dave walked in the church one day I had seen him as a patient many times but one of the adverse physicians had said community come to church has. And so when they've came into church I said Dave how you doing and he said he said well is Bert here he invited me to church but doesn't come to church very much but he invited in the church and I said Dave how do you know you're interested in this. That would you like to write about would you like to study with us we're going to start a study group studying and we started with the basic bible lessons he said yeah that sounds good and so. They came in and. The week later this other couple walks into town in the church never seen it before they had been listening to. It is written out is right now. The Bachelor in Sacramento and they came in and I and I said. You stand up and greet people when I can and so they came up and said Hey are you interested I've been studying with Doug bachelors so exciting and so here they come in 2 more people for our group and the week later our head elder comes and says Hey I hear you're starting a small group I had this gentleman just came in and he's interesting studies he comes to our small group Dave was baptized one the other gentleman was baptized his wife is a heavy smoker it's you know but it God broadly it wasn't about me it wasn't about what we did it's God's bringing him to us and the other single gentleman moved up the organ area and he also is a member of a church up there that small group if you guys aren't a member of a small group it's wonderful That's our Small Group is still going and we meet on the when it's Thursday night then our meeting on Monday night and this is what we're going through it's all about Jesus. Because that will transform you had transformed and that is the best night of the week it's sharing because that's what pumps you up to really work in your office. With it I do here we go to bed. The only way to grow in grace is to engage to the extent of our ability in helping and blessing those who need to help the help we can give them strength comes by exercise activity is a very condition of life those who endeavor to maintain Christian life by passively accepting the blessings that come through the me to the means of grace and doing nothing for Christ or simply trying to live by eating without working and in the spirit in the spiritual as in the natural world this all are always results in degeneration and decay a man who would refuse to exercise his limbs would soon lose all the power to use them thus the Christian who will not exercise his God given powers not only fails to grow up into Christ but he loses the strength that he already had this is one of my favorite text here was John talks about how the how true power comes from and Jesus says I am the vine and my father is the vine dresser every branch that does not bear fruit he takes away and every prince that bears fruit he prunes that it may bear more fruit and these are my favorite words abide in me and I in you and as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless of the bites in the vine neither can you unless you abide in me I am the vine you are the branches he who abides in me and I in Him There is much fruit for without me you can do nothing if anyone does not and by then me he is cast out as a branch and is withered and its withered and they gather them and throw them into the fire and they are burnt. Sin isn't God isn't the one that's going to say you didn't do it I'm going to burn you sin results in death but as we abide in Him we have power we have power from among high to 2 to do things that we wouldn't think we could do. The. We had last year it near my town in Yuba City California we had some fires Paradise had a big fire that was the biggest one but next to us right up to the foothills in the bud Marysville we had a fire too and the day after the fire this lady comes Her name is Cheryl she comes in the office and she says I was burned out and she tells me her story she says she's a single lady she has a ranch has courses and stuff and she says I smell smoke and I wondered what was happening and the power went out so she goes out to get in her car but she doesn't know how to open the garage without power so she says I see over the hill smoke and fire and she says I literally ran and walked out the opposite way left everything her contacts despise everything she comes in and my daughter comes up and here's this my staff comes around she goes home and gets her close to the same size as she is and she says and says What are your contacts and so we pull out samples and of samples to last or probably a year so that she has contacts she was living with a friend staying with a friend the big fire in paradise we had a lot transplant you know when you give you never lose you it's not about you know. I blog I love being optometrist because we can give we see people in need you don't have to you can you know you don't have to charge them there's I have a box and friends back there of good quality used frames and there are people come in what do you do they don't can't afford it you give them a free frame they're used slightly used but they're beautiful frames are probably pretty expensive but for the Paradise people they came down to our fairgrounds and they they had trailers and all sorts of stuff for them to stay in now our church they took over and they started doing food classes are our youth directors wife took over took on this cause a selfish she did amazing things she's still doing amazing things for people they're getting furniture getting all sorts of help but my daughter Courtney said. She calls her a lab what can we do for these people who have lost everything. We've given freelances and so if they were if they had lost their house and burnt out and they came in we gave them a free exam because they were not patients they were they were from Paradise and Hoyer gave them free frames and we had free lenses and we had free frames it can't hurt it was good because these people hurt have you ever lost everything none of us have ever lost everything God lost he was willing to give up everything of heaven for us the power of love is just amazing. I'm thankful that my staff care about people too now no sooner than does one come to Christ and there is born in his heart a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus. The saving and sanctifying truth that cannot be shut up in his heart it we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and are filled with the joy of his and dwelling spirit we shall not be able to hold our peace if we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good we shall have something to tell you know I love the one we have we have those optos picture sitting up there and the very simple illustration of a believing in God is looking at those pictures and talking to people saying you see that point there we are were you focus on you draw a line straight up and down that side of your vision goes to that side of the brain that side goes to that sides and opposite side would that just evolved that way no that's design that's a God who who created this and that's my sometimes hip if we are that do they want to talk about God do they want to shared you know and if you give them that sense you know I never want to force talking about God to anybody but sometimes I get way behind because it's fun to talk about their faith and the sharing I had a gentleman in a couple weeks ago he was he said he was a pastor of a Senate church and now he's writing fictional Christians novels and it doesn't seem like he's the type but he's doing it and yet the sharing of his health his growth in faith he says I used it when you do it this way this is this is the way you know he's his growth and belief and faith how much faith you can't do it without faith you can't live without faith you can't grow in Christ without believing you who years and so those little inklings is what I do to share and open up to Christ to my patients. There is one time I think this is the next flight here in d.c. Now now all this this is another story remember the story about the money at getting he'll he's the disciples take off when he comes to Christ comes out the boat and walks the disciples there back on the boat saying let's get out of here let's get out of here with Jesus walk straight to him and he says What do you want me to do and when he got into the boat he had been demon This is the last of the story I'm agreed to and so Jesus he says I want to be healed and what course a story about that all the demons going to the pigs and living and all the people kicking them out they don't want cities they lost a lot of money a $1000.00 pigs and they don't believe in taking care of Pigs that what they have their pigs but that demoniac man was changed he was healed. Wouldn't you want to follow Jesus when you know you hear the stories of people being healed and they became his disciples and follow him but Jesus says no no I don't want you to follow me when you go into the boat who had been demon possessed begged him that he might go with him be with Him However Jesus did not permit him but he said to him Go home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you and how he has he has had compassion on you and he departed to begin to proclaim in the capitalistic all that Jesus had done for him and they all marveled literal go home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you go to your family friends neighbors literally get off get off and to your house to yours x. 18 you should be my witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria to the ends of the earth. And testimonies to ministers the 1st work of the church were seen when the believers sought out friends relatives and acquaintances and with Hearts overflowing with love told a story of what Jesus was to them and what they were to Jesus that's my life that's what I have to tell because I know Jesus loves me and that loved and belief that he loves me and that's not always easy I don't think any of us can really conceptualize how much God loves us I think we're going to be understanding it's return of the and it's going to make us grow in love for him we are we all are a product of our parents and what what they were like is a lot what we are like as much as you don't want to be and so the love factor has to grow and that's what abiding in him does it abides in him it goes into your body and it changes you to this this is what everyone can do whose heart has been touched by the grace of God as witnesses for Christ we are to tell what we know what we ourselves have seen and have heard and felt if we have been following Jesus the steps by step we shall have something right to the point to tell concerning the way in which he has led us we can tell how we have been tested we have tested his promises and found the promise is true we can bear witness to what we have known of the grace of Christ this is the witness for which our Lord calls and for want of which the world is perishing very point how do you get and this is from Gary been the experience every morning at the close of your time along what she's asked him. Please open my eyes today to specific opportunities you arrange and were I can make a difference in the people's lives for you Jesus and for your kingdom and give me a nudge when it went when it happened so I don't miss it we don't want to miss it doing because when we're able to share the days good it is good and it just makes the joy complete when my favorite text. Is this one here Romans 122 and this is the New Living Translation I like the way it says it don't copy the behaviors and customs of this world but that God transform you into a new or poor new person by changing the way you think then you will learn to know God's will for you which is good in pleasing and perfect changes the way I think because my brain is is muddled in sin and the cleanse this. I know Gary was talking about mores when he was. He was feeling like a failure as a pastor because he didn't have a relationship with him and he started he says he was ready to talk to people how do you do it all the standard right ways and he did he started reading steps to Christ and didn't get much out he went back to read what steps to Christ what he could do to have a relationship and basically it came down to one thing abiding and looking to Jesus that's all we can do and because when he does when you would do that you have the power of him in your mind he changes you and it changes what you say how you treat people and what you can do now I'd like you have a few more minutes I think we have about 10 minutes or more that. I like to have some of you share how you've changed. Churches in your office. I think the Holy Spirit is each of us differently I'm just going to share my experience and hopefully a benefit their. First thing that I think we need to understand is is that when the disciples. Met the Sanhedrin after Jesus had resurrected they made this comment they say these humble fishermen are different because they've been but Jesus. It's true that each one of us have an influence. But I want you to understand this influence from a little bigger realm than you may have considered before I want you to consider the moment you have yourself have gone into a new place I don't care what it is it could be a church it could be a place of business it could be any place where there are people and when you open the door and you enter into the room. While you're taking in with your eyes what you're seeing you're also taking in with your spirit a certain sense that you feel when you enter the room and that sense is really the combined spirits of all the people in that room and when I use the word spirits I'm I'm using that in a loose sense in that this is the agreement this is the working relationship. And I think I'm sure you've been ended some places where you go you know I just didn't really feel like those people cared about me I didn't like the sense that those people weren't getting along I mean it didn't take me 2 seconds to figure out this wasn't a place where I really wanted to do business and I turned on my heels and I walked out of there. So how do you create an atmosphere that at the door people want to come through and partake of it so that atmosphere starts with the leadership starts with you and me getting on our knees and doing just exactly what Thomas shared this morning looking to the Savior but it continues. It's it's. Something we have to walk we can't just talk so in my office we have we don't discriminate we'll hire anybody that's willing to work for us that understands our philosophy and we do not discriminate whether they're Christians or not but we do tell them this once a week we'll get together and talk about who we are why we do what we do and we will start that session by prayer and we do and every person in the room is given an opportunity to share anything on their heart and I as the principal leader will do will deliver the per hour. And we did that for many many years but then we decided we need to take this to the next level so now my staff lead us in prayer at a huddle before we start every day so this is a staff led prayer is great and we're still there not everybody in the room are believers but none them are offended by that they seem do welcome it. Then of course when there are needs in the in the room which happens every day. Somebody will come in and share something now we want to respect the different persuasions that come into our office we play Christian music very low but Christian music all the time and that's the subtle imitation that we're a Christian office we don't have a lot of literature in fact we have no literature in the waiting area and you know I've struggled with that some people feel really good strong about that I I struggle because I don't want to offend but I think it's really important that when somebody presents a need to you that you're sensitive to how to minister them and I'm going to show you how to do that just a minute. It's always amazing to me in our profession how that people begin to talk to us about things that I have no idea how we got there I mean no idea at all that we got there and you know I would say on the average at least once or twice a week I will get to the place where I say you know what this deserves prior it's very very important how you approach this because you don't always know whether that person is actually a believer or not so I one very simple question I looked him right in the eye and I say by the way are you a prayerful person and in a very badly I'll get a yes or no answer and that's all I need to know because if they say yes the next question is could I pray for you right now and if they say no I say that's Ok I'll remember that. And then I go right on about my conversation. And they know in their heart of hearts that I've respected their choice but I'll still be praying. And it works beautifully and nobody is offended and they feel like I've respected their particular persuasion. My staff pray with you know the person may not choose to share their particular need with the doctor they may choose to share that with the optician they may she choose to share that with any person in the office and by the way it's well known in my practice that anyone can pray at any time and we do. And I could tell you a lot of stories but I think I'll give the mike back. My eye resonated with the needing of the extra kick to say something sometimes by the Holy Spirit in that they the kick is directly proportional to the number of patients that I have on that day. And so one day I have a patient who I've taken care of for many years. And she's a nurse professional person and. And she's one of those patients that you all have these 2 I'm sure that you can depend on that if you need to have a quick visit you can have it with her if you need to get on to the next room you can just you know you're good you're good you look good you're moving on and but my photographer came to me and and she said you need to talk to Mary and I said Ok And she said she's really stressed and I said Ok I will and so I went in and I could see that she'd been crying and I've operated on both eyes and and done lots of stuff with her and and I went through my visit in weed she was fine and and I said Mary what's going on and she proceeded to tell me a story and this was a particularly busy day I was had 55 or 60 patients and and. And I was trying to go and she said she started crying before she even told me the story and she proceeded to tell me a story where her husband had been drinking and tried to kill her and chased her out into the street and. And I just sat there and you know my sense of time was gone at that point and they didn't really matter how long I was in that room I just listened and. And that ended with prayer and ended with me giving her my cell phone number and call me if you have trouble whatever and and so I think I I also resonated with you set the tone because my photographer knows that I pray with people and she gives me the heads up if we need to do that and and so that's you know and and I don't know if I would have picked up on Mary that day or not but I did because Debbie did so. You have to listen to your patients and look at them in the eye you can see a lot just by their eyes is what they're how their sense you can sense somebody who's really drowned who's down and and and we have it we can we can we can we can just hear the just a little bit of time then let look at it and just talk and you don't know where your voices were the conversations go sometimes and sometimes they do go to some wild places but God leads you if you're allowing him to with any more comments some would like to share we have a few more minutes or we can. Oh just a situation that came to my mind when when you were talking patients tend to know that we're busy in they see the backlog in the waiting room or whatever and when you actually take the time to do something off the script so to speak. That speaks volumes just to just the fact that you're taking the time away in a willing to put their emotional needs or spiritual need and in front of everybody else that's waiting and I did this and I have no I don't remember her situation I don't know might remember. Why I prayed for her the thing that sticks out in my mind is that after I prayed with this lady and she was a new patient when she left and she had moved to Tennessee from somewhere else it was fairly easy for me to open that conversation in the Bible Belt but I always ask just like you were talking about and because you want your permission to pray and you want you don't want to found in Jesus would never force himself on anyone who didn't want it and but she left the room. And she was going down the hall telling every single person she could tell I can't believe it my doctor prayed with me I can't believe it my doctor prayed with me and you get it and that one just stuck with me and I think that was more for me than for her because. It patients do like prayer and it's very easy I have the little scripts I've learned today man when I send somebody for cataract surgery or retinal surgery or anything I will I will say it's my habit to you know pray for somebody I'm sending for surgical console to do you know is that would that interest you. In I've been turned down and I said no that's no problem and I've had other ones say Absolutely and so there we know cataract surgery is successful and fairly very good outcomes and whatnot and lots of the retinal surgeries and I think but if it's your eye nothing's routine and it's scary for them and the surgeons that I send them to probably have no idea unless the patient tells them but they probably have no idea that I'm praying for their expertise and their wisdom and that that that healing true healing comes from God and he uses he uses the skill of humans as well and but I know that patients really appreciate it more than I think that we think they might. I think sometimes we have to ask God to bring back some of the splits things that we've we don't always remember the the times we've been blessed by giving to others the sharing the gospel the sharing of the prayers. Any of the comments like this. You know I just like to say that I resonate with that knowledge as well and that's the Holy Spirit and there's a reason for that night and sometimes timing is everything and I remember I was with a patient that really we couldn't do anything for her and she was losing her vision and. Turned out that her husband was just diagnosed with cancer he had been doing well and she's somebody that just takes up so much of my time so much of my energy just it's just draining is very draining and in a busy schedule she has to tell you everything every time from the beginning and the whole story and. You know it's just hard to cut her off and she's searching see if she's searching for something and I'm thinking like Ok How can I get out of this room. And then she tells me that her husband was just and he's there to just diagnosed with cancer and so then that's when the nudge started to happen you know she's saying is there anything else you can do for my eyes and I'm thinking No And I've told her no many times and in how can I tell her no again and. You know she said Well can you do this and there was that nudge and I said No Can you find another doctor for me and you know and I just kept you know over a period of a minute or so it's just that knowledge just kept getting stronger and stronger I said Ok let me let me offer a prayer for them so. I said you know there's really not much more that I can do for you but I know somebody who can and may I offer a prayer for you guys may pray for both of you she kind of looked at me and paused and was confused and. Said Well isn't there anybody at the University of Chicago that can help me. And. It just went right over her head. And I'm thinking a lot what do I do with this now you know the hack like it never happened and respond to this. But thank God that her husband heard it and he was. In tune with this and after she kept going on and on again for a while he said that he would like to pray for us so I offered it again to her and this time she kind of got it in she says Ok. So I prayed for them and there was no like while he prayed for me or if there was nothing like that and they just laughed and. Didn't think much of and came back the next time and that was the last time I saw her husband her husband passed away in the next few weeks and. She came in to me and the one who had completely missed my Comic Con we overhead the 1st thing she comes to me after she told me that her husband passed away was that that permit so much to us and she said that her husband talked about their prayer often after they had left before he passed away and I realized at that time that those nudges are for a reason you know it's the timing you know you may not get another chance and. God is now working on our timetable he's working on his timetable and he knows everything else and so that was another reminder to me not to ignore that nudge but it's not easy it really isn't easy when you're behind when you have all these things and it's really outside of your comfort zone. In to be receptive to that and sensitive to that it's something that every morning you have to pray help me to be sensitive to feel that knowledge and help me to respond to that so. You know that that resonated with me that nudging 2 bigs we did we have to be sometimes pushed and if you're willing and guides change your mind a little bit you will resound really be ready to go let's be our heads Barbara thank you so much and that you are great guys you're a powerful guy than you know us and we can trust you that would you say in what you do and lead in our lives that we can do and we can are able to see you working we thank you for your angels we thank you for your Holy Spirit places who continue meetings to stay in. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio 1st if you would like to listen to more servant leader visit w w w audio verse or.


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